Tools and practical tips

Field guides to birds and specialized books on feathers:

Field guides often include sections dedicated to feather identification, providing detailed descriptions, illustrations, and photographs. Additionally, there are specific books that focus on the identification of bird feathers, featuring enlarged photographs and detailed descriptions that aid in identifying distinctive characteristics. Here are some examples:

  • Svensson, L., Mullarney, K. & Zetterström, D. 2010. Guía de aves. España, Europa y región mediterránea. Ediciones Omega. Barcelona.

Mobile applications:

There are both free and paid apps that provide information about birds and assist in bird identification, such as Merlin Bird ID, eBird, and Collins Bird Guide.

Collections of feathers:

Some natural history museums or scientific institutions have collections of feathers that can be studied in person or through online images to aid in identification.

Practical tips for birdwatchers:

  • Adquiere conocimientos básicos: Familiarízate con las características generales de las aves, como el tamaño, forma del cuerpo, colores y comportamientos típicos. Esto te ayudará a identificar las aves y sus plumas de manera más efectiva.
  • Use binoculars: A pair of high-quality binoculars is essential for observing birds from a distance without interfering with or disturbing the natural environment. Practice using them and adjust the focus correctly for a clear view. 

  • Observe behavior: In addition to feathers, bird behavior can provide valuable clues for identification. Pay attention to flying style, feeding patterns, calls, and other distinctive behaviors.

  • Learn songs and vocalizations: Get familiar with the songs and vocalizations of the most common birds in your area. This will help you detect the presence of birds even when you don’t see them directly.

  • Participate in birdwatching outings: Joining local birdwatching groups or participating in organized outings will give you the opportunity to learn from experts, share knowledge, and gain practical tips to enhance your identification skills.

  • Keep a field notebook: Maintain a record of your observations, noting relevant characteristics, dates, locations, and any details that may help you identify feathers and birds in the future.

  • Be patient and persistent: Identifying birds and feathers can be challenging at times. Don’t get discouraged and keep practicing. Over time, you’ll improve your ability to recognize feathers and birds more accurately.

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