BIRDING: LESSON ONE: COMPARING SPECIES
Let’s compare confusing birds with NO pictures!
I don’t take pictures when I am birding. That is what my husband is for – he has the camera and he knows how to use his camera. I stay away from photography for the simple reason that by the time I grab the camera, aim and shoot the bird in question is gone. Eric, on the other hand, is accustomed to catching birds on the wing.
So, how does one tell birds apart especially when the two in question look like kissing cousins? For starters, bird with friends.
Mike: How do you tell a Canvasback apart from a Redhead?
Me: Canvasback has a beak shaped like a ski jump.
Me: I don’t think there are Greater Scaups here. I looked it up – Greaters like greater, bigger waters like the ocean.
Mike: Both Greater and Lesser Scaups have been seen in the Bay. One has a purple head and one has a green head.
Me: (Looking in Kaufman’s Field Guide) Got it! GReen for GReater.
Mike: Ruddy’s have blue bills.
Me: Lots of ducks have bluish bills.
Mike: Ruddy’s have a perky tail.
Me: Right on! Cute perky tail.
See how that works? Bird with your friends.
(Photo credit: Eric Voit)