«

»

What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification Keys- Shape & Shape

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Identifying wild birds can be an overwhelming task for the beginning bird watcher or backyard birder.  Though, field guides are filled with beautiful illustrations and photos, the birds seem very similar-looking and arranged without rhyme or reason.  However, recognizing and identifying wild birds is easier if you focus on the four keys to bird identification – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and Habitat.

Bird Identification – Size and Shape

Look at the bird’s body, head, bill, wings and tail.  Does it have a round or long thin profile or silhouette?  Is it’s bill short and stout, or long and thin?  Does it have a long or short tail?  Using these observations and a field guide, you can put the bird into a group or family of other birds.  Then comparisons can be made to other birds, as well as to the bird itself to create a short list of possibilities, and then move on to the other identification keys – color pattern, behavior and habitat.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has created an excellent video series to help the beginning birder develop their wild bird identification skills.  Below, is the first in the series – Recognizing Birds – Size and Shape.  The other videos in the series can be found here – Color PatternBehavior and Habitat.

Be Sociable, Share!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.newenglandbirdhouse.com/backyard-birding/bird-identification-key-shape/

6 pings

  1. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification - Color Pattern | New England Birdhouse says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is made easier by using the four keys to bird identification – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

  2. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification - Bird Behavior | New England Birdhouse says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is easier when focusing on the four keys to bird identification – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

  3. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification Keys - Habitat | New England Birdhouse says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is easier when the four keys to bird identification are used – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

  4. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification Keys - Habitat | Welcome to the New England Birdhouse Blog says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is easier when the four keys to bird identification are used – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

  5. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification Keys - Color Pattern | Welcome to the New England Birdhouse Blog says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is made easier by using the four keys to bird identification – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

  6. What Kind of Bird is it? Bird Identification Keys - Behavior | Welcome to the New England Birdhouse Blog says:

    [...] and identifying wild birds is easier when focusing on the four keys to bird identification – Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behavior and [...]

Comments have been disabled.