Your Guide to Attracting Birds this Summer #3

The weather is warmer and the days are longer, which means it’s the perfect season for some birding! Would you like to make your home more hospitable for birds? All it takes are a few simple steps.  Learn more in our blog mini-series, this time about…

Identifying your birds

American Blue Jay (Photo © Mircea C)
Your living space has now become an oasis for birds. With clean water and plenty of food, they’ll be back to visit often. As a matter of courtesy, you should learn your guests’ names! Sometimes, this is easy. Certain birds have unique appearances, like Mallards, Northern Cardinals, and Blue Jays. But other birds look alike, and it can be confusing and difficult to tell them apart.

(Photo © Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
This is where the Lab of Ornithology is here to help! We have resources on hand to make identifying birds easy.  You can learn fun facts, behaviors, habitats, and more on our Focal Species page.  Or, visit Bird Academy for educational and interactive games and videos.  If it is difficult to distinguish between lookalike birds, check out the Tricky Bird Identification Tips section of our website.  Additionally, the Lab offers the Merlin app that helps you identify birds based on their behavior, appearance, and location. You can read more about Merlin here.

At dusk, it’s tough to see birds clearly. That’s why birders learn the silhouettes of the species they’re likely to see. Often, shape is a defining factor in identification. Look at the length of the neck and tail, and the curve of the beak.  Listen, and you might hear a bird singing. Our focal species pages have a feature for learning the sounds that birds make. Sometimes they’re beautiful songs, but they can also be clicking or chattering.

Once you learn which birds are visiting your home, you can tailor your caretaking to make them the most comfortable!

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