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ABC’s of Bird Identification - Skill Development

Improving your identification skills is part of the fun of birding. The information in this section will be useful for both the beginner to advanced intermediate level birders.

basics of bird identification bird id challenges


bird study guide



duck id video
Improve your duck identification skills with this Duck ID Video iBook from Bob Hamblin.

Bob Hamblin’s Duck ID Videos show ducks in their natural surroundings and engaged in natural behavior. All species accounts include live action videos, range maps and professionally recorded narratives that describe field marks, behavior and habitat.

Watching Bob’s videos is a proven way to sharpen your birding skills.  It’s like being in the field with your binoculars.



Improving your identification skills

  • 1. Visit the ID Basics section.
  • 2. The ID Challenges section has information on common birds that can be difficult to identify.
  • 3. If you are a beginner, visit our state birding information section. You'll find information for bird clubs, birding locations and the Nifty Fifty online Bird Guides for your state.
  • 4. Bird Families - Study Guides
 - A good approach to improving your identifcation skills is to study small groups of birds, as opposed to taking on a field guide with thousands of images. We are building special Study Guides dedicated to different groups of birds. Each Study Guide will feature multiple images of each species as well as comparison images. Thirty such Study Guides are currently planned. Two guides are now complete (Egrets and Waterfowl), we will be adding new guides at the rate of one every 1-3 months     -  Go to the Study Guides
  • 5. Apps and eBooks. Our apps and eBooks often correspond to the online sections noted above and offer opportunities for study on mobile platforms.

Other Birders

Your best source of information is other birders. Spend time in the field. Local or regional field trips are offered by many different organizations. Here are a few sources.

  • local Audubon Societies
  • bird clubs
  • bird specialty stores
  • state and national wildlife refuges and parks
  • state ornithological society

New birders are always welcome to these groups, so don't be shy.



Another good way to learn the names of many different species is to visit the Birdzilla Games web site. You'll find several easy -to-play games that will help you to naturally recognize over 100 different species, all while having fun. Its also a great stop for the kids and grand kids.