How to identify birds
Whether you're watching small birds at your bird table, or birds of prey soaring hundreds of feet above your head, birds are everywhere. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy watching and listening.
Learning about birds
It's a natural progression to go from enjoying watching a bird going about its business to asking yourself 'what kind of bird is it?' If you flip through the pages of a bird book or browse our A-Z pages, you'll see there are many different species in Britain (and more than 10,000 worldwide!).
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need expensive equipment or expert knowledge. The most important 'tools' are your eyes, ears and brain! All the other things are optional.
By following simple guidelines and principles, you can learn to identify any bird you come across. Every bird you see is different in some way and, if you want to, you can spend a lifetime learning about them.
Bird identification tips and tricks
Here are some tips to help you identify birds. The more birds you see, the better you will get at identifying them!
Useful bird watching equipment
The only essential pieces of equipment you need to enjoy watching and identifying birds are your eyes and ears!
How do I identify a bird?
There are a number of features that you will need to make a note of to help your identification.
Frequently asked questions about how to identify birds.
Key things to look out for
Abnormal colouration of birds
Feather colouration in birds is produced by a number of means. These pages describe these abnormal colourations.
What is eclipse plumage?
After breeding, ducks moult (replace the old, worn-out feathers with new ones).