What colors or patterns does it have?
When looking at a bird take note of its features and field marks, these are the give-away when identifying similar looking species.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What shape is its bill? Conical? Hooked? (A)
- Are its wings long and pointed or rounded? (B)
- Does it have any distinguishing markings?
- Is its tail short, long, squared at the tip, notched, forked, rounded, or pointed? (C)
Often the first detail that catches a birderís eye is color (D). The brilliant red of a male Northern Cardinal is hard to miss. As important as color, though, is the pattern colors make on a bird. Examine the eyebrows, eye rings, eye lines, or mustaches on a birdís head. Wing patterns can be helpful, too, as can rump and tail patterns.