There’s a bird in my yard! How can I find out what kind of bird it is?
By looking at the bird’s size and shape, we can get an idea of what family it belongs to. Does the bird have a long or short bill, thin or stout? Is the bird smaller than a robin or as big as a crow?
Colors and patterns of birds can include wing markings, bars across the face, or white-tipped tail feathers.
What is the bird’s behavior? Does it walk on the ground, or appear to be climbing a tree, or fly in a swooping arc?
Habitat of the bird can include trees, meadow or brush land, or the beach.
The All About Birds website has a bird identification page and there are some wonderful apps such as Merlin Bird ID which can help in identification. The Merlin app asks a series of questions and then gives you a list of possible birds you may be seeing.
A fun way to learn about the varieties of birds you are likely to see in Seattle, is to go on a Bird Walk with a Seattle Audubon Society group. Bird photographer Joe Sweeney and other volunteers lead Neighborhood Bird Walks in parks and natural areas around Seattle.