An excellent way to improve your identification skills is to study smaller groups of birds that are in the same family or share similar characteristics. We will eventually have 31 different study guides. Egrets and Herons is the first complete guide. The Waterfowl Study Guide will be posted shortly.
Select a family on the left to see images and identification tips for birds in that group. The birds included in each study group may not always be in the same family, from a scientific standpoint, but will share similar characteristics.
What Are Bird Families?
Bird families are groups of related bird species that share a common ancestor and have similar physical characteristics, behavior, and ecology. Bird families are classified based on their genetic relationships and other factors, such as the shape of their beaks, the structure of their feathers, and their habitat preferences.
How Many Bird Families There Are?
There are 249 bird families according to BirdsOfTheWorld.org . However, the number of bird families is subject to change as new research leads to revisions in taxonomy and classification. Some authorities recognize a slightly different number of bird families, depending on the criteria used for defining them.