Tips for Identifying Birds Characteristics to Consider

Tips for Identifying Birds: Characteristics to Consider

Bird-watching becomes a lot more fun when you know the species of bird you’re looking at. Without taking the time to identify the bird, you may end up looking at a rare species without even realizing it. Whether you’re an experienced birder or a bird-watching beginner, following these tips for identifying birds will take your skills to the next level.


  • Color pattern: The first thing people often look at to determine a bird’s species is its color. Consider the overall color as well as any unique patterns or markings it may have.
  • Size: Assessing a mystery bird’s size by comparing it to that of other familiar birds may make it easier to identify.
  • Shape: No two bird species share the exact same shape. As such, assessing its shape is especially beneficial when determining which species it belongs to.
  • Tail: A bird’s tail may be curved, forked, or pointed. It may also have a unique pattern or color that will help distinguish the species.
  • Bill: The size, shape, and color of a bird’s bill is often indicative of its species.
  • Wings: The length of a bird’s wingspan and the color of its primary and secondary feathers are often particularly telling of its species. As such, take a bird’s wingspan into special consideration when trying to determine the species.


Appearance isn’t everything when it comes to identifying a bird. Its behavior can tell you a lot about which species it belongs to and help you narrow down its classification. Pay close attention to the way a bird flies, walks, feeds, and behaves around other birds to determine its species.


Most birds have a unique song and call. Listening to recordings of birds you expect to encounter before embarking on a bird-watching excursion will help you identify a bird’s species—even if you never actually see it.


Although birds’ habitats often change throughout the year due to their mobile nature, the environment in which you spot a bird is still a good clue to consider when you’re trying to narrow down its species.

When it comes to bird-watching, few countries offer better opportunities than Panama. As the home of 940 distinct avian species, the country has more species than anywhere else in Central America. While exploring the island, you may get the chance to see parrots, warblers, osprey frigates, and lined woodpeckers. To fully take advantage of Panama’s unique bird-watching experience, book a Panama birding tour and nature excursion with Selva Terra Island Resort in the Gulf of Chiriquí today.

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