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Bird Identification

There are thousands of bird species in the skies, so how do you identify the ones you see? Here you will find information about what physical characteristics of a bird can help you make a positive identification, what resources can help you identify different birds and how to identify even the trickiest and most confusing birds.
  1. Difficult Bird Identifications (10)
  2. Identify Types of Birds (29)

Parts of a Bird
From head to tail, knowing the parts of a bird can help you learn to identify every bird you see. This detailed diagram of a Swainson's thrush is labeled with every major bird part you will find on every bird in the world.

Bird Wing Parts
Learn the parts of a bird's wing, including both structure and feathers, and how those parts can help you identify bird species. Includes labeled photos showing bird wing parts.

3 Steps to Easy Bird Identification
Three key steps for bird identification: observation, research and comparison.

How to Watch Birds for Identification
Watching birds is much more than just looking at them in the field, and these tips for how to watch birds properly can help you sharpen your bird identification skills easily.

Where to Find Field Marks
Seeing bird field marks is essential to proper identification, and this labeled diagram shows you just where to look to see all the field marks you need to see.

Birding by Ear Basics
Tips for how to identify birds by sound, including how to listen to bird songs and what to listen for to get a positive bird identification.

How to Listen to Birds
Listening properly can help you identify birds if you know just what to listen for. Every bird has a distinct call, and the closer you listen, the better your identification skills will be.

Nonverbal Bird Sounds
Birds make a lot of nonverbal sounds, and savvy birders can use those sounds for easier identification.

Sounds Hummingbirds Make
Even though many of them do not sing, hummingbirds can still be quite vocal and their nonvocal sounds can also help with proper identification.

Identify Birds in Flight
Tips for how to identify birds in flight, including what field marks to look for, how to interpret the wing rhythm and other clues to help birders identify flying birds.

How to Judge a Bird's Size
Learning how to estimate a bird's size in the field can help for identification in many species. These tips help birders judge a bird's size in different ways and with different measures for an accurate identification.

Using Range Maps to Identify Birds
Tips for using bird range maps for bird identification.

Identifying Subspecies
When is one bird actually more than one type to identify? When it's time to identify subspecies! These tips can help and will teach you why identifying subspecies is important.

How to Distinguish Between Male and Female Birds
Tips for distinguishing between male and female wild birds.

Baby Bird Identification Tips
Comparison of adult and juvenile bird photos to aid identification of young birds.

How to Identify Baby Birds
Juvenile birds can be challenging to identify, but these tips can make it easy to spot young birds and determine what species they are.

Bird Plumages
Birds have several different types of plumages and understanding the differences between bird plumages can halp birders identify species from season to season.

Bird Camouflage
Many birds have superb camouflage with the color of their plumage as well as markings that help break up their visible outline and behavior that keeps them hidden, making it harder for birders to identify them. Understanding this bird camouflage is the first step toward proper identification of even the hardest-to-see birds.

Bird Melanism
Melanistic birds have overly dark plumage. Learn about bird melanism, including how it affects the birds and tips for identifying melanistic birds.

Bird Leucism
Leucism is a condition that affects birds' feathers and turns them pale or white. Learn about bird leucism, including how it impacts the birds and how you can identify leucistic birds.

Pictures of Leucistic Birds
Photos of leucistic birds, including different variations of full and partial leucism and tips for identifying leucistic birds.

How to Recognize Sick Birds
Tips for recognizing sick birds by appearance and behavior. Includes easy tips to help birds heal.

Winter Bird Identification Tips
Winter birds can be hard to identify, but these tips can help any birder be confident about identifying the winter birds they see.

How to Submit Your Bird Photos
Instructions and guidelines for submitting bird photos for consideration for use in galleries, profiles and articles.

What Bird
This fabulous site helps birders identify birds through a downloadable toolbar, visual characteristic search, songs and more. Bird identification courses are a great introduction to how to identify your backyard birds.

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