This post continues the discussion of the Seven methods of identifying birds.
[Answer to Quiz 4: American Bittern]
Expectation: Status, Distribution, Habitat
When you see a bird it is not usually necessary to compare it with every bird in the world in order to come to a reasonably accurate identification.
Each continent and bioregion has primarily unique bird species.
During the year, the amazing miracle of migration will mean that at some times of year, certain birds are just not present locally at all, even if common at another time of year.
You wouldn't look for a rail in a tree, or a woodpecker diving into a lake.
Quiz) A flock of meadowlarks in Montana.