This post continues the discussion of the Seven methods of identifying birds.
[Answer to Quiz 5: Western Meadowlark]
Observing how birds behave can quickly narrow down a bird to the correct family. Then, even if you don't see all the plumage field marks, you can still identify it based on minimal plumage patterns, but well-seen behavior. For instance, though Hutton's Vireos and Ruby-crowned Kinglets are very similar in plumage, their behavior is enough to separate them.
Does the bird walk or hop? Does it flick its wings or wag its tail? Does it pick at the surface or probe deep into the mud? Does it hitch itself up the tree using its tail as a prop or walk freely?
Quiz) A bird bobbing on a rock in the middle of a mountain stream in the West, walks into the water and disappears below the surface.
Next: Flight style