Why a Bird’s Shape Can be Deceiving

As I learned over the years, identifying a bird isn’t always easy. I’m pretty sure most people, like me, can recognize a blue jay, cardinal or a robin without too much trouble. Heather has been teaching me the little nuances to look for to help in identification – a particular stripe on a wing (wing bar), for instance.

Now I found out the shape of bird can be deceiving based on whether its feathers are sitting sleek, typical or fluffed.

Read more from Birdwatching Daily as David Sibley tries to help us out…


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  1. Babs – Seattle May 1, 2018 11:21 am

    Chris … thanks much for this post!! And I’ve subscribed to the Birding mailing list .. that’s going to be fun! I’m looking at our local birds with a different ‘take’ on them .. that was a good article. And my friends saw, for the first time, a Golden crowned sparrow. First the male, and then the female showed up. We’re hoping they’re nesting!! Thanks again!

  2. Catherine Wohlfeil April 28, 2018 10:23 pm

    I may have seen whooping cranes today but will not be able to confirm the sighting until my photos come back (3 or 4 days) – is this information rush or can it wait until I can confirm? Thank you!

    • Heather Ray April 29, 2018 6:32 am

      It can certainly wait 🙂