Bird Identification

Birding ID Skills (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

To identify an unfamiliar bird, first focus on the 4 keys to identification
Birds are built for what they do. Every part of the bird you are looking at is a clue to what it is.
 
Every bird you see is in your field guide somewhere. Focus on patterns instead of trying to match every feather.
There’s what birds wear, and there’s how they wear it. A bird’s attitude goes a long way in identification
 
– Habitat
A habitat is a birds home, and many birds are choosy.  Narrow down your list by keeping in mind where you are. 
 
The first four keys help you decide what sort of bird you have.  Next, it’s time to look at some field marks.
 
When a bird sings, it’s telling you what it is and where it is.  Learn bird calls and open a new window on your birding.
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Each roughly 10-minute video takes an in-depth look at one of the four basic keys: Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Behviour, and Habitat. 
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Answer five simple questions about a bird you are trying to identify and Merlin will come up with a list of possible matches. Merlin offers quick identification help for beginning and intermediate bird watchers to learn about North America’s most common birds!
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Upload an image, click on the eye, bill and tail for
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Use the “Search” function to help narrow down the number of possible birds by based on various characteristics: shape, size, color, habitat, location, bill shape, bill length, wing shape, patterns, leg color and other factors!