How To Recognise Individual Birds - Part 1

noisy-miners on the washing line 'How will I tell which bird I am talking to?'' -  this is a problem that perplexes many bird lovers. 

The human brain faces many challenges in trying to recognise individual birds.

Firstly the birds are much smaller than us which makes their unique features harder for our eyes to spot.  Our eyes also cannot see many of the colours in the indigo-violet range unlike the birds who can see many more frequencies of colour than us.  To make matters more difficult the smaller birds in particular don't sit still long enough for eyes to get a proper fix on them to be able to notice and learn their individual characteristics.

Our brains need some training and time to get used to the bird patterns. Once we know what to look for it becomes much easier to identify them.

There are 6 easy ways to recognise a bird.  Over the next few days we'll cover each of these in more detail.

In today's post we'll look at the first key: Shape, Form and Size.

Every bird is unique regardless of the species. Look at their general shape and size.  Try and spot the differences:

  • Which bird in the group is slimmer, which is one is fatter? 
  • How do they carry themselves? 
  • What angles does their body make in different positions - for example when they are looking straight or when they are looking down at the ground?
  • Which one has a thick neck?
  • Which one is petite?
  • Which one resembles an apple, or a bottle or any other object you are familiar with?

You may like to take photographs and compare them or make some notes in a bird journal so you can refer back to them later.

As you begin to notice these differences your brain will start attuning itself to these markers.

 Tomorrow we will look at the next key.

If you would like a copy of the 23 Amazing Facts About Wild Bird Culture with true stories - click on this link and enter your details.

To read the earlier articles in this blog challenge click here.

Until tomorrow,



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Gitie, having a look around your blog is literally an eye-opener to me. The passion and depth of vision with which you describe your bird observations is like a breath of fresh air. As a result I will be more attentive whenever I see birds from now on. (Not that I'm in the habit of ignoring them, but becoming aware of your amazing approach to the matter will definitely take it to a whole new level for me.

Your comment is most appreciated.

Best Reagrds