Guest Post: Bird Diagram – Birding for Beginners

I first became acquainted with Mark Danehaur when he contacted me about reviewing his  book, Jake’s Nature Guide: Rocky Mountains, is a small guidebook to the Rocky Mountains that is aimed at parents with young children or children themselves.  His book is small enough to fit in a pocket, making it easy to take on outings (4”x6”); covers all aspects of the natural world; and it includes colorful drawings of Jake the dog, who shares fun nature facts throughout the book. Although the book might be of limited relevance to Midwest readers, his blog is well-suited to all lovers of nature, and a sample post is below.

Here is a simple bird diagram that shows the main parts of a bird.  This will help beginners, including parents and kids, learn the different parts of a bird.  This knowledge will help with describing and identifying different birds.

When I first became interested in birds I was overwhelmed at how many different kinds of birds there were.  I wanted to learn more about them and be able to identify the different kinds, but I simply didn’t know what parts of the bird were important to help me figure that out.  Well, here is a diagram and a short explanation of what to look for.

Simple Bird Diagram

This simple bird diagram shows the main parts of a bird.

bird diagram

If you see a bird that is sitting somewhere or flying in the air try to notice these key features, mainly focusing on the color of them as that will help you identify the bird:

Crest – Does the bird have a  crest on its head?

Breast – What color is it?  Is it the same as the rest of the bird’s body?

Throat – Sometimes birds have a stripe of a different color on their throat.

Back – What color is the back of the bird?

Tail – What color is it?  Is it very long or normal?  What shape is it?

Belly – Is this the same color as the back?

Bill – What shape is the bird’s bill?  This is important because a bird’s bill gives important clues about the bird.

I hope that you find this information and diagram helpful and that you can use this knowledge the next time you are exploring nature.  Remember, you do not need to be an expert to enjoy your time in nature, but you will enjoy your outings more with a basic understanding of the natural world.

Mark Danenhauer has been a stay-at-home Dad for the past seven years.  Mark, his wife, and two kids have lived in Salt Lake City for ten years. Jake’s Nature Blog developed from his love of nature. While exploring and teaching his children about the natural world, Mark learned a lot about getting children outdoors. His blog is my attempt to help other parents enjoy nature with their children too.


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