Identify more than 500 possible bird species in Florida through resources such as the Florida Ornithological Society and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Look and listen for several clues when you see a bird.
- Notice the silhouette
See the bird's silhouette to narrow down the bird species to one of 15 families, such as ducks, owls, hawks, pigeons, gulls and swallows. Silhouettes, or the side profiles of birds, help ornithologists quickly identify the general type of bird by its shape and size.
- See the feathers
Notice the characteristics of a bird's feathery plumage, known as field marks, to denote feathers around the eyes, breast, crown and wings. Colors, stripes and spots help narrow down what species of bird it is.
- Notice a bird's behavior
Pay attention to the bird's behavior, as that may determine how a bird eats, flies and stands. A hawk may roost on top of a pole to look for a meal, whereas a woodpecker hangs out on the side of a tree to peck for insects.
- Hear the voice
Listen to the bird's call, since all birds make unique sounds. Find recordings of bird calls on various websites to compare to the bird you saw and heard. Try to take a picture or capture video of the bird you see. That way you do not have to remember every detail of the birds you find.