Backyard Bird Identification

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader

I love all the birds that congregate in my backyard. I have been keeping a list and so far, I have 36 different birds listed. I am always looking for more birds to add to the list. Some birds are easy enough to recognize, but for other birds, I have to do a bit of investigation to figure it out. That can be a fun adventure and I am always excited when I identify a new bird.

Often my husband will first recognize a new bird and call me to come and see it. He is good about describing the birds and that is important to identifying them. Just recently, he noticed a new bird and he was describing it to me as speckled and about the size of a European Starling. I finally was able to see it for myself and noticed it had a stripe across the eye area. I made sure to get a good picture for my research.

I didn’t see anything in my “Birds of North Texas” guide, so I decided to search the web. A favorite website for me is The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds. I decided to look up the European Starling because the bird seemed somewhat similar. Once I did that, I was able to see a list of similar birds.

I found a picture of a female Red-winged Blackbird and after comparing it to my own picture; I was convinced that was it. I consulted with my husband and he agreed with me that it sure looked like it. It could possibly be a juvenile, but I feel fairly confident that it is at least a Red-winged Blackbird.

I so love seeing new birds and I am gaining in confidence when it comes to identifying the new ones. When I see a new bird, I try to get a good picture. Then I consult my “Birds of North Texas” guide or my “National Geographic Birds of North America” pocket guide. If I can’t find what I need there, the Internet is usually helpful. I am looking forward to spring and hopefully some new birds coming my way.

  • Published on Feb 19, 2016
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