Friday, May 13, 2011

Seven methods of identifying birds:
#2: Structure

This post continues the discussion of the Seven methods of identifying birds.
[Answer to Quiz 1: Western Tanager]

Structure:

The end plates of the Peterson field guides are silhouettes: "Roadside Silhouettes" and "Shore Silhouettes." These show size and shape among most of the different orders of common birds.

The section "How to Watch Birds" in Peterson's field guides gives an excellent primer on structure of bill, tail, and wing. Don't skip the introductory material in field guides!

Earlier this spring I wrote a post, Dabbling duck silhouette quiz, which uses shape alone to identify female ducks.

Quiz) This medium to large slender bird has extremely long legs, very long neck, and long, thin, upturned bill.

Next: Feather-by-feather analysis

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