Tips on Identifying Birds

Bird Anatomy. When identifying birds, specific parts are often referenced. The image below will help you know where to look for these key characteristics:

Field Marks


Try using the following tips to identify birds.

  • Look at the most eye-catching characteristic first. Often birds fly away quickly. Make note of the more identifiable characteristics you see at first glance. Does the bird have an eye ring? Does it have yellow-tipped tail feathers?
  • Color is often the most used characteristic to identify birds. If you are seeing a blue and white bird, it can not be a cardinal! This is a great way to quickly narrow your search.
  • Think about size. Is the bird the size of a warbler? Or, is it larger like a crow or even a hawk. By looking at the size, you can begin to eliminate species and narrow-in on the species you are seeing.