Here is our Bird Challenge for the month of February.
Ok it may not end up being the only one, as if we happen to get some particularly cryptic photos of some more birds, we’ll be sure to drop them in, but for now we’re going to try and stick to one challenge a month. Or maybe one per fortnight. We’ll see…
Anyway, back to today’s bird.
For the uninitiated, bird identification might simply involve looking at the individual in front of you and making a deduction through a combination of plumage, bill and leg colour. As your birding knowledge becomes better and better however, and you start accruing more hours in the field, the subtle differences between the various bird families and their member sstart becoming apparent; flight pattern, perch height in the strata, habitat preference, etc. You start making reflexive calls based on a rapid and often subconscious summation of knowledge rather than a methodical analysis of the evidence in front of you. Sometimes you will find yourself making a call without actually knowing why you made it.
This bird is probably going to go one of two ways: either you’ll know it on sight based on long hours of experience, or it will take quite long time of paging through some reference books and images to reach the right answer.
As usual, the answer will be revealed in Friday’s Week in Pictures post…