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Old Monday 11th June 2018, 21:24   #4
Farnboro John
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,737
While entirely agreeing that structure is a useful thing to be able to assess and use as part of the ID process, I think there is in fact a lot to be said for learning birds sizes, shapes and relative features to others while using specimens whose identity is (reasonably) obvious: hence concentrating on males and bright plumages which easily signpost ID allows the absorption by osmosis of the more jizzy features, so that when a less obvious plumage is encountered, the structure is positively embedded in the mind.

It also increases the sense of achievement and emphasises the personal journey that birding gives us all. Not that there's anything wrong with asking someone else (especially when you aren't completely sure, and I hope that applies to us old and hairy/hairless birders as much as early learners) but its really satisfying to work something out for yourself.

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