Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#56 Field Tip: Study the Bird, Not the Book

Out in the field, when you see a bird and you do not know what it is, it is tempting to immediately look in your field guide and try to identify it. Don't do this! Instead, study the bird in your binoculars or scope for as long as possible, before opening a book or IPhone.

Note the head, bill, wings, tail, legs and overall shape and structure in much detail. You'll need a clear picture in your head before the bird flies away. Then you can look in the book! This will also give you a better understanding of what you are trying to identify.
photo © adrian binns


  1. Don't worry about writing it down either...It is so silly when new birders stop looking at a bird because it flies; or because they want to write it down on a list.

    Birdwatching means watching! Watch it fly follow it with your bins! Write it down when it is truly gone...your memory isn't that bad!