Sea Bird Identification

Sea Bird Identification
The seaside is a great destination for bird watchers. The ocean is home to many varieties of birds. Although most anyone can identify a pelican, there are lots of gulls and waders that will be unfamiliar to many people except to seasoned birders. A good field guide is indispensable when trying to identify sea birds. Next time you visit the beach, take a pair of binoculars and a field guide and see how many birds you can identify. You might find that you have an interest in bird watching.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Binoculars Field guide Pen and paper
  • Binoculars
  • Field guide
  • Pen and paper
Step 1
Observe the sea bird with the binoculars. Make notes about the bird's size, shape and color. Look for any unusual markings. Pay attention to the way that the bird flies.
Step 2
Consult a field guide and go to the sea bird section. Sea birds may be found in the chapters about ducks, waders, gulls and birds of prey.
Step 3
Begin the identification by trying to find a picture or drawing of the bird. For example, if the bird that you saw was a large white bird with long legs, go to the "Wading Bird" section.
Step 4
Look in the "Wading Bird" section and find any large white wading birds. Identify the bird from the drawings, if possible. If you're unable to make a positive identification because there are several birds that look like the unknown bird, proceed to the next step.
Step 5
Read the description for the birds that match the one you saw. Pay attention to all of the small details in the description for clues that will help identify the unknown bird. The color of the feet or the shape of the bill may help to identify the bird.
Step 6
Compare all of the details with your field observations. Identify the bird after comparing your notes with the pictures and descriptions. If unable to identify the bird, you may have to go make more detailed observations.

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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