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Identifying birds

How to identify birds

You don't need to know anything about birds to enjoy watching them. What if you want to know how to tell one species from another? We have lots of useful advice and suggestions to help you learn. More...

How to identify birds

What to look for

There are a number of features that you will need to make a note of to help your identification. More...

What to look for

Useful kit

The only essential pieces of equipment you need to enjoy watching and identifying birds are your eyes and ears (and there are plenty of hearing- and visually-impaired people who enjoy birds, too). More...

Useful kit

Tips and tricks

Here are some tips to help you identify the birds you see. Remember, the more birds you look at, the better you will get at identifying them. More...

Tips and tricks

Difficult species

Some birds are easier to identify than others! Here are our tips on how to separate some of the trickier birds you might see in the UK. More...

Difficult species

Abnormal feather colouring

Feather colouration in birds is produced by a number of means. From time to time, the mechanism that produces normal colouration breaks down, resulting either in lack of colour or too much of it. These pages describe these abnormal colourations. More...

Abnormal feather colouring

Hummingbirds and hawkmoths

One of the most remarkable cases of mistaken identity in the animal world in the British Isles involves a large but unassuming moth. Every year many people are taken back as they see in their garden what appears at first sight to be a hummingbird hovering at the flowers. A careful look unmasks this imposter as a hummingbird hawk moth. More...

Hummingbirds and hawkmoths