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Study Guides for selected bird groups

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.

great-horned owl

The Great-horned Owl shown here is one of the largest and most wide-spread owl species. They are one of the few predators that will feed on skunks.


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 . 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.

In This Category

Owls in Ohio (12 Species That You Can See)

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

The 16 Owls in Texas (9 Commonly Seen & 8 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

Falcon Identification | Field Guide For Successful Identification

Nightjar Family – How to Spot & Identify Them

Surf Scoter Identification

Tufted Duck

All Three Swans in United States (Identification)

Comparison of Mallard, Black Duck and 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

Common Loon Identification

Brant Identification

Canada Goose Identification

Cackling Goose Identification

Emperor Goose Identification

Ross’s Goose Identification

Snow Goose Identification

Greater White-fronted Goose Identification

Hooded Merganser Identification

Red-Breasted Merganser Identification

Common Merganser Identification

Identification of Bufflehead

Identification of Common Goldeneye

Barrow’s Goldeneye Identification

Identification of Long-tailed-Duck

Identification of Harlequin Duck

Identification of White-winged Scoter

Identification of Black Scoter

Steller’s Eider Identification

Spectacled Eider

King Eider (Duck Identification)

Common Eider (Identification)

Lesser Scaup Identification

Greater Scaup Identification

Identification of Ring-Necked Duck

Redhead Identification

Canvasback Identification

Cinnamon Teal Identification

Blue-winged Teal Identification

Northern Shoveler Identification

Northern Pintail Identification

American Wigeon Identification

Green-winged Teal Identification

Gadwall Identification

Mallard Identification

Mottled Duck Identification

American Black Duck (Identification)

Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification – Coot, Moorhen and Gallinule

Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification – Pelicans

Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification – Stiff-tailed Ducks

Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification-Perching Ducks

Whistling Ducks – Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification

Videos of Egrets, Herons and More

Wood Stork and Roseate Spoonbill

Bills of Herons and Egrets

Comparisons of juvenile Black-crowned and Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons


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

Regularly Occurring Egrets of the United States 

Types of Hawks in United States (Identification)

14 Types of Ducks in United States

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