About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

#GBBC Pop Quiz: What birds do you see?

Though you may be drawn to watching birds because of their wonderful colors or fascinating behavior, when it comes to making identifications, size and shape are the first pieces of information you should examine. 

With just a little practice and observation, you'll find that differences will jump out at you. Study the sillouettes in the picture and see how well you can identify a bird just by the combination of size and shape.

So now that you know the shape of enough birds to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) the third weekend in February, let me recommend a couple books:
Birds of Michigan by Ted Black and Greg Kennedy is a wonderful book for beginning or advanced bird watchers in Michigan. It has detailed illustrations of 302 bird species with specifications of their size and any unique markings. It includes descriptions of the birds’ habitat, nesting, feeding, and voice. The birds are also grouped and color coded for quick identification by species.
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One of my favorite features is a very handy quick find reference of all of the birds at the beginning of the book. It also lists Michigan birding groups and which local nature center or park will have a particular species of bird.
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This is a very handy book to have around even if you don't plan on doing more than watching the birds at your feeder.
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If you like photographs, I recommend Stan Tekiela Birds of Michigan book. There is also CD available if you want to hear their songs.
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Both books will help when you need to name a bird for the GBBC.

Wild Birds Unlimited is a proud sponsor of the Great Backyard Bird Count. We encourage you to be part of this citizen scientist project that helps us learn more about the birds.
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