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How to identify birds

It can seem like a daunting, impossible task to learn how to identify birds. It is quite amazing watching birders rattle off names and traits of birds you barely caught a glimpse of. But there are some simple features that will have you on your way to identifying America's wild birds.

The following features will teach you to start looking at birds, examining their habits and habitats. Soon, whether near or far, you'll recognize birds simply by the way they fly, their silhouette or even their call.

Size and Shape - Size and shape are important features to begin studying. Whether round, long, tall or stout, paying attention to size and shape allow you to use these as defining features of all bird families. Much like getting to know the physical traits of your close friends or family allows you to recognize them, even from behind or at a distance, much is the same for birds. Begin to examine common bird families like nuthatches, wrens and chickadees, and use these as a guide to identifying relative size and shape for birds you don't know.

Watching birds up close allows you to identify their habits, traits and characteristics.

Habitat - This is one of the easiest features to study. Start recording where and when you see birds, paying close attention to detail, like is the bird in the hallow of a tree or pillaging on the ground for food.

Silhouette - Silhouette helps you identify birds in flight, at a distance or in not well-lit areas. This helps distinguish bird family and species.

Field Marks - As your abilities improve, start looking for individual, distinguishing traits. These traits, called field marks, include stripes, colored-patterns on the bird's body, head and wings, and many other small details that will allow you to identify particular species.

Feeding wild birds allows you attract all sorts of species to your backyard. You can watch them up close, and learn their habits, traits and characteristics. Lyric provides healthy, waste-free, foods that allow you to attract many species of birds and wildlife in as little as one bag.

To attract wild birds, we recommend:

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