There’s a Bird in My Yard, What Kind of Bird Is It?

There’s a bird in my yard!  How can I find out what kind of bird it is?

woodpecker by AudubonFour key features to identify birds are: size and shape; color pattern; behavior; habitat.

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.

Golden-crowned Kinglet by Gregg Thompson via BirdNote

Golden-crowned Kinglet photographed by Gregg Thompson

About Wedgwood in Seattle History

Valarie is a volunteer writer of neighborhood history in Seattle.
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14 Responses to There’s a Bird in My Yard, What Kind of Bird Is It?

  1. alesiablogs says:

    Love the birds!!!

  2. hdemare says:

    We keep the Guide to Birds of Washington by the binoculars. Goldfinches, hummingbirds, northern flickers, and Stellar Jays abound near us.

  3. It’s good if you can tell them apart!!!!

  4. I often find myself running to the bird book or googling in search of the name of a bird I see in my yard. Fun post, Valarie.

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