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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.

In This Category

Types of Woodpeckers Found in the United States [23 Species]

Do Owls Live In Wisconsin? 11 Species You Can See in WI

13 Owl Species You Can See In Arizona (Common & Rare)

Are There Any Owls Living In California? Most Common Species & How To Identify Them

Do Owls Live in Virginia? [Most Common Species You Can See]

14 Common & Rare Owls You Can See In Colorado [The Full List]

16 Types of Hummingbirds in the U.S. (That You Can Spot!)

Owls in Ohio (12 Species That You Can See)

The 12 Common and Rare Owls in Michigan (That You Can See)

The 17 Owls in Texas (Commonly Seen & Rare Birds)

The 11 Owls in Georgia That You Can See (5 Common & 4 Rare)

11 Owls in Florida That You Can Actually See (If You’re Lucky)

Boobie Family – How to Spot & Identify Them

Types of Falcons (All 6) | Field Guide For Identification

Nightjar Family – How to Spot & Identify Them

Identifying All 23 Types of Owls in U.S (With Photos)

Raven or Crow? What Are The 9 Main Differences and Similarities?

Northern Pintail

Mottled Duck

Cinnamon Teal

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

American Wigeon (Male and Female Identification) + Lots of Photos

American Black Duck

Comparisons: Dunlin and Stilt Sandpiper

Comparison of Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs

Comparison of Orange-crowned and Tennessee Warbler

All Three Swans in United States (Identification)

Comparison of Mallard VS. Black Duck VS. Mottled Ducks

Comparison of Lesser and Greater Scaup

Western Grebe Identification

Red-necked Grebe Identification

Pied-billed Grebe Identification

Least Grebe Identification

Horned Grebe Identification

Eared Grebe Identification

Clark’s Grebe Identification

Red-throated Loon Identification

Pacific Loon Identification (How To Identify?)

Common Loon Identification

Identification of White-winged Scoter

Steller’s Eider Identification

Blue-winged Teal Identification

Comparing Coot vs Moorhen vs Gallinule – Differences and Similarities

Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification – Pelicans

Stiff-tailed Ducks (Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification)

Videos of Egrets, Herons and More

Wood Stork and Roseate Spoonbill

Juvenile Black-Crowned Night-Heron vs. Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

Bittern Species You Can See In The U.S. [ID Guide]

Regularly Occurring Limpkins of the United States

Regularly Occurring Cranes of the United States

Regularly Occurring Ibis of the United States

Regularly Occurring Night-Herons of the United States

Regularly Occurring Herons of the United States

5 Egret Species You Can See In The United States

18 Types of Hawks in the United States That You Can See

27 Types of Ducks in United States

Mourning Dove vs Eurasian Collared-Dove (Differences and Similarities)

Identification of Cassin’s, House and Purple Finches

ABC’s of Bird Identification – Color, Markings and Patterns

ABC’s of Bird Identification – Size

ABC’s of Bird Identification – Shape

ABC’s of Bird Identification – Habitat

ABC’s of Bird Identification – Behavior

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