How To Recognise Individual Birds - Part 2

 Today we continue to look at the key features that enable us to recognise individual birds.

Once our eyes get used to the differences in the shapes and sizes of the birds in a species.  We can start training ourselves to look for more distinguishing characteristics. 

  • Look at the top of their heads?  Does the bird have a smooth or fuzzy head? Is it more round or slightly flat?
  • Does the bird have a crest, if so how big is it?
  • Then look at their shape of the wings.  Do they sag or are they folded tightly?Renutu noisy-miner sittin on the line
  • Does the right wing cross over the left, or the other way round or do they meet nicely in the centre?
  • Look at the patterns of colour around their faces, necks, chests, backs, legs and wings. In the examples below you will see the shapes are different for each bird, even though at first glance the birds appear to be similar.
  • How long is their beak?  What is the shape of their mouths?
  • Do they have any distinguishing parks on their beaks and cheeks?

In the picture on the right (above), the shape of the mask around the eyes, under the chin as well as the marks where the beaks 

meet the cheek are all individual characteristics.  Renutu (noisy-miner) does not have a goatie in the centre of his mask unlike his sister Chipkin in the picture below.


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