Bird Watching – Field Notes

 

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The following list is to help you learn and keep track in your bird watching adventure. So ask yourself:

    1. “What type of action is the bird doing?” Is he:
      1. chirpping
      2. climbing
      3. continuous flying
      4. flightless
      5. hopping
      6. running
      7. singing
      8. still perching
      9. swimming
      10. wading
      11. walking
    1. “How big is the bird?”
      1. larger than a hawk
      2. larger than a dove or pigeon
      3. close to the size of a dove or pigeon
      4. smaller than a dove or pigeon
      5. smaller than a sparrow
    1. “Does the bird have a…”
      1. bill the same length as head?
      2. crested head?
      3. long bill (as long or longer than head)?
      4. long neck?
      5. long tail?
      6. tail forked?
      7. thick bill?
        1. note whether or not it is as thick or thicker at base than length of bill.
    1. “What type of coloring is he showing?”
      1. bright colors
        1. Blue
        2. green
        3. yellow
        4. red
      2. blackish
      3. dark gray
      4. bluish black
      5. greenish black
      6. nearly all black and white
        1. or other dark color and white)
      7. nearly all dull green
      8. nearly all dull brownish green
      9. nearly all white
      10. rust color present
      11. red
      12. yellow or orange
    1. “What type of markings are present?”
      1. bold markings
        1. patches?
        2. botches of black
        3. white
        4. color
      2. bands on head
      3. cross barring
        1. means it is a feather marking where adarker color creates bars or stripes across thefeather, perpendicular to the feather shaft.
      4. crown patch
        1. somewhere above the eye area
      5. eye ring
      6. plain underparts
      7. round spots on body
      8. streaks (long spots)
      9. stripes on head
      10. tail stripes (long)
      11. tail bands (across)
      12. wing bands or bars
    1. When and Where You Saw the Bird(s)
      1. four seasons
        1. winter – north, south, east or west
        2. spring – north, south, east or west
        3. summer – north, south, east or west
        4. autumn – north, south, east or west

or

      1. two seasons
        1. winter – north, south, east or west from November through February
        2. summer — north, south, east or west from June to August

 

    1. Type of Habitat
      1. beaches
      2. fields
      3. marshes
      4. plateaus
      5. woods
    1. Describe the Location
      1. continuous flying
        1. high – near or above treetops when flying
        2. low – below treetops when flying
      2. perched
        1. high – above middle of trees either when perched or foraging
        2. low – below middle of trees either when perched or foraging
      3. on ground
        1. hopping
        2. resting
        3. running
        4. wading
        5. walking
    1. What type of behavior is the bird showing?
      1. soaring flight
        1. gliding
        2. circling
      2. irregular flight patterns<l/i>
        1. for example zigzag, twists and turns
      3. bounding flight
        1. means the wings are mostly folded and thebird moves on a semi-ballistic trajectory derivingsome lift from the body and tail, but not enoughlift to maintain a constant altitude.
    2. short forays(quick or sudden attacks)
      1. flies out from perch and returns
    3. jerks tail or body
      1. repeated dipping of body
      2. flipping or pumping of tail
    4. gathered in flocks (from 4 or 5 to thousands)
    5. calls and Signals
      1. rasping harsh calls
      2. smooth
        1. clear calls
          1. which are those that also can be imitated by human singing voice or whistling
        2. soft
          1. low calls
        3. staccato
          1. means notes are abruptly disconnected
        4. twitter call
          1. means to utter a succession of small, quivering sounds such as
            1. short sharp notes
            2. rapid series of notes
            3. tinkling
            4. trilling
            5. sputtering
            6. percussive
  1. What does their bird song sound like?
    1. high
    2. thin
      1. high weak notes
      2. lisping
      3. sizzling
      4. almost like hissing
    3. harsh or buzzy
      1. the note of sound is in the middle
      2. rasping (coarse)
      3. buzzing
      4. grating (disagreeable sound)
    4. melodious
    5. notes of sound vary from:
      1. smooth
      2. sweet
      3. rich quality
      4. pattern (generally complex)