Bird watching is an excellent activity for kids to engage in, but kids will have a difficult time trying to match a particular bird they see to a picture in a comprehensive bird guide. They need to focus on significant aspects of the bird first, such as the overall color pattern, its size and its behavior.
WhatBird.com contains many sections that kids will find useful. One separates the bird species of North America by their attributes, such as their wing shape, bill shape and main color and includes pictures and facts about the bird.
Once kids are familiar with some birds common to their region, they can more readily compare an unknown bird's size and shape to one they already know, narrowing down the possibilities of what the bird may be.
Rather than concentrate on every single facet of a bird's color, children should identify which are the predominant colors on the bird. This makes it easier to eliminate other birds and helps the child direct attention to those birds within that color range.
Observing the behavior of a bird can help a kid pinpoint what family of birds the species belongs to, according to AllAboutBirds.org.
Every bird guide has range maps for each species, showing where in North America the bird lives in the summer and winter months. Kids who understand where they live can utilize these maps to know if a particular bird lives in their part of the nation.