Bird Identification 101

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Table of Contents
Topography of a Bird

Constant Features

Plumage Variations

ID by Shape
ID by Color
ID by Location
ID by Specific Features

The Bill







Quiz on Bill Shapes

The Head





Ear Patch (auricular)

Quiz on the Head

ID by Field Mark
ID by Behavior
ID by Gestalt
ID by Nests
ID by Ear

Recommended ID Books

Bird Identification 101 Table of Contents

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This course is designed to help birders or aspiring birders learn to identify birds yourself when you don't have access to WhatBird's unique search engine.

There are a variety of ways to identify a bird in the field. This course is organized by these techniques. To begin the course select one of the areas from the menu on the left. While its best to study the topics sequentially you can jump into a random starting point if you wish.

  • By color
  • By shape
  • By location (e.g., shore vs. mountains)
  • By specific features (e.g., bills, eyes, feet)
  • By field marks (more specific features that distinguish one bird from another)
  • By behavior
  • By "gestalt"
  • By nests and nesting locations
  • By ear (song and calls)

Over the next few weeks will be adding to the course.

Next: Introduction

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