Identifying Birds on the Fly
It takes patience to identify birds. You have to take a good look at the bird as you quickly flip through the pages of your favorite bird identification guide. As you struggle with books and binoculars, try to look for a key field mark can lead to the accurate identification of the bird. Start by identifying a bird with a given family, using whatever characteristics you're able to remember about each family. For instance woodpeckers are usually black, red, and white and like to cling to the sides of trees; or sparrows are often small and brown and have a conical-shaped bill. Following that, use field marks about the feather color, behavior, habitat preference, and vocalizations to narrow your search even further. Here are some tips for identifying birds from different parts of the country.