Identification of America Birds

Identification of America Birds
Birds are a source of enjoyment for many people. Bird watching is a popular sport in the United States that is practiced by many. While bird watching, a species may be observed that you have never seen before. When this happens, the easiest way to identify the bird is to use a field guide. By making observations and systematically working through the guide, most birds can be identified.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Binoculars Field guide Pen and paper
  • Binoculars
  • Field guide
  • Pen and paper
Step 1
Observe the bird you wish to identify. Use binoculars if possible to determine identifying features.
Step 2
Make note of the birds size and shape. Study the shape of the bill and the wings. Is the bird flying, swimming or wading? Notice any unusual colors or marking on the bird.
Step 3
Group the bird into one of these eight groups; Swimmers, Aerialists (Gulls), Long-legged Waders, Smaller Waders, Fowl-like Birds, Birds of Prey, Passerine (Perching) Birds and Nonpasserine Birds. The Peterson Field Guide to the Birds East or West of the Rockies has the birds broken down into these groupings.
Step 4
Classify your bird into one of these groups. For example, the large black bird soaring overhead looks like some type of hawk. Go to the "Birds of Prey" section in the field guide.
Step 5
Page through the color drawings until you find a large black bird similar to the one you saw. There are two birds that match, Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture.
Step 6
Remember that the bird you saw had a red head. The Turkey Vulture has a bald, red head without feathers. Read the description and find out if the bird ranges in the area. After looking at the drawing and description, you determine the bird is a Turkey Vulture.
Step 7
Identify any bird by using the above steps. If several birds look like your bird, use the description, range and coloring until you can positively make an identification.

Tips & Warnings

 
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website is a great resource for the birder. Refer to the Resources below for a link to the website. Make notes about the bird with a pen and paper in case it should fly away. This will help later when identifying.
 
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website is a great resource for the birder. Refer to the Resources below for a link to the website.
 
Make notes about the bird with a pen and paper in case it should fly away. This will help later when identifying.

Article Written By Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.

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