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Beginning Birder

July 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 130

So you have decided that you want to be a birder. You have purchased some binoculars, you have a field guide, but the birds are moving so quickly that you rarely get a good look at them. So you may be frustrated.

There are some general guidelines that you should keep in mind to help you with bird identification:

First ask yourself, "what is the shape of the bird?" Notice whether it is plump, round, or long and slender. Doesn't look like a puffball, or is it sleek? Second, notice its tail: it might be flat, rounded, pointed, forked, or some variation. Notice if the tail points up or point down. Third look at the wings: they may be rounded, or pointed. They may be wide or narrow. They may appear to be broad arches or flat. Fourth, what is the shape of its bill? It might be long or short, wide or narrow, dagger shaped, or hook tipped.

Fifth, notice its behavior. It may sit erect, it may dart, it may climb trees - right side up or upside down - or it may peck at the ground. Sixth, notice how it flies. It may fly in a straight line, it may undulate it may glide, or it may hover. Seven, notice if and how a bird swims. It make sit high in the water or low in the water. It may dive completely underwater, or upend itself. Eighth, notice if the bird waids. How long are its legs? Notice if it probes at the mud or pics at things. Notice if it teeters or bobs.

Tenth, notice its marks. A few birds can be identified by color alone, but in most cases it is not that easy. Look at the bird's breast. It may be plain, striped, or spotted. Look at the tail. Often there are white feathers either at the tip or on the sides. Look at the bird's back and rump. There are sometimes distinctive patches there. Look at the bird's eye. It may have of a circle around it, or wide stripes or narrow stripes. Look at the wings, both one next to the body and when in-flight. Look for the feather patterns.

Using these guidelines, you should be more adept at identifying unknown birds.

Birds are easy to see up close when you have white birdhouses. Purchase these at All American Bird Boutique

Source: EzineArticles
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