Parts of a Bird (Original Image by IMSI used by permission.)
Being able to identify a bird in the field begins with knowing the parts of a bird. Above is a very simple example I created by labeling an image. You will find the parts of a bird, or bird topography in the front of most bird field guides. The additional links below should be of assistance as well. Practice until you know them well. Then you can begin to note the shape, color and plumage in relation to the part of the bird. It will help you not only identify a bird, but discuss it with other birders.
External Links and Resources
All About Birds from Cornell University: Bird Topography
Parts of a bird.
From wildbirds.com, a page on how to identify birds and parts of a bird labeled.
Bird Morphology I from the Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary
Bird Morphology II from the Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary
Great resource shows pictures and great details what the parts of a bird are called with lots and lots of illustrations. It is the Visual Dictionary after all. Check out the main article on birds for more detailed information on shapes of bills, wings, feet, and bird anatomy. Plus it has pronunciation icons for the terms so you can click on them and hear how to pronounce all the bird morphology terms. I lived in the San Fernando Valley for years, so I have to say it: "Awesome!"
Topography of a Duck
Listing of parts of a duck.
OC Birder Girl Links
Birding Hot Spots in Orange County, California
Birding Code of Ethics from American Birding Association
Beginning Birders in Orange County
Book Review: Good Birders Don't Wear White
Orange County Bird Checklists
The Christmas Bird Count
Bird Guide Reviews
Central Park after the Rain
Wood Duck or Mandarin Duck?
What Birds Eat--Terrestrial Invertebrates
See OC Birder Girl Store on Amazon.
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