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How to ID Birds: Determine group Determine species Size Surroundings (Habitat) Shade (Field Marks) Song Golden-crowned Kinglet What is it? House Sparrow American Crow American Robin Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Pileated Woodpecker Determine Species: Size

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how to id birds
How to ID Birds:
  • Determine group
  • Determine species
    • Size
    • Surroundings (Habitat)
    • Shade (Field Marks)
    • Song

Golden-crowned Kinglet

What is it?

determine species size

House Sparrow

American Crow

American Robin

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Determine Species: Size

Use familiar birds to estimate size.

≈ 6 inches

≈ 10 inches

≈ 17 inches

determine species surroundings

Belted Kingfisher

Determine Species: Surroundings

Species Distribution: Learn which birds live in or visit your area and in which seasons.

We know the exact species, because only one species of this group occurs in Michigan.

determine species habitat

House Wren

Marsh Wren

www.birdsgonewild.org

Winter Wren

Determine Species: Habitat
determine species shade field marks and plumage patterns
Determine Species: ShadeField Marks and Plumage Patterns

Learn to recognize plumage patterns and field marks.

slide6

Chipping Sparrow

Tufted Titmouse

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

White-crowned Sparrow

  • Crest
  • Cap
  • Eyeline stripe
  • Eyebrow stripe
  • Eye ring
  • Throat patch
  • Bill color

Head Field Marks

slide7

Eastern Kingbird

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Barn Swallow

Tail Field Marks

  • Notched or forked
  • Rounded
  • Straight
  • Barred
  • Location of white
slide8

Yellow Warbler

Black-throated Blue

Northern Harrier

Herring Gull

Wing and Body Field Marks

  • Wing patches
  • Wing bars
  • Breast stripes
  • Colored flank or rump
  • Leg color
determine species song
Determine Species: Song

Learning to a bird’s song and calls can help you identify the bird to species (and know that it is around!)

Red-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Small tin horn

“Yank, yank, yank”

how to id birds process of elimination
How to ID Birds: Process of Elimination
  • Determine group
    • Shape and silhouette
    • Sweep
    • Signs
  • Determine species
    • Size
    • Surroundings (Habitat)
    • Shade (Field Marks)
    • Song

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

What is it?

get outside practice and see more birds
Get Outside, Practice and See More Birds!
  • Go for a Walk
  • Sit quietly in a favorite place
  • Work in the garden
  • Visit a new birding spot
help birds record what you see share
Help Birds: Record What You See & Share
  • Keep a checklist or journal
    • Life list
    • Backyard list
    • Submit to eBird
  • Get involved
    • local and state organizations
    • Counts and Citizen Science
homework
Homework

Before class on March 31:

Choose a spot, your backyard or a favorite nearby location, make a list of the birds you see and hear. Do your best! Anything that you do not recognize, take a picture, make a drawing in your journal or a list of field marks.

For the birds you see and hear, whether you recognize them or not, look each up in your field guide.

Read the description and take a close look at the range map.

slide14

Migrating past your feeders soon?

White-throated Sparrow