Bird Identification Help

With the spring return of the birds to Canada, we are once again called on to test our winter memories. How much have we forgotten about identifying our feathered friends while they were gone for the winter?

One of the more challenging groups of birds to identify, and a popular favorite with birdwatchers, are the raptors.

The Hawk Migration Association of North America has prepared a two page reference guide for identifying hawks in flight as seen from below. The guide includes includes the key field marks of 21 hawks species, and is available as a free PDF download on their website.

You can also purchase a professionally printed copy on durable card stock laminated for long-term use in the field.

If the raptors are not your thing, Project Feeder Watch from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology can help you with songbird identification.

They offer beautiful, full color poster downloads of Hummingbirds of North America, as well as eastern and western birds likely to appear at your feeders. These posters are excellent resources for the beginning bird watcher.

There is a wealth of information on bird identification available on the internet. These resources however, are made to be printed for quick reference in the field, or while watching the birds at your feeders.

More information:

Hawk Migration Association of North America

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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One Response to Bird Identification Help

  1. dean bamber says:

    I just saw a bird perched on one of my front pillars that was brown with black spots and had a very distinctive black oval crest on it’s chest. It had a long black beak (2.5″ roughly) and was about the size of a red crested pecking bird. It looked like a dove, but much bigger and with a beak that looked more like a sandpiper. I’ve lived in northern alberta my whole life and i have never seen this bird before?? any ideas?? i took pics with my iphone so theyre not great.