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Brand Spanking New!! (1 Viewer)


New member
Hello everybody. My name is Jorden and I am brand new to the world of birding. It has been something that I've always been interested in but was never really exposed to. My interest has grown and I've decided to start pursuing it on my own. Currently I've been spending a lot of my time trying to learn all of the common species of birds I might encounter. I would like to have atleast a general idea before going out with a birding group and making a complete fool of myself. My efforts haven't been rewarding. I still have problems distinguishing different groups like the difference between a warbler and a chickadee or a titmouse and a jay. The sub-species of gulls have been very hard to distinguish as well. I am currently using the Merlin app to help me and have a couple of different bid quizes on my phone, but the variety of birds that exists, and their subtle differences typically stump me. I'm sure that it will become more obvious to me with time, but any and all advice would be much appreciated. I am excited to finally get out there and be able to sit on a bench somewhere with a cup of coffee, some binos, and my birding journal and finally start making my counts, but I feel like I still have a lot of studying to do before I get there. Thank you for accepting me intonyour group and I look forward to all that I can gain from your collective knowledge!!!

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
You'll catch on ;)

Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum :t:

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi Jorden and a warm welcome from me too.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.

I don't 'do' gulls.... they're much too difficult. As for the other species, take note of their bill shapes, that will give you as start in narrowing down which birds they might be.


Staff member
The best way that worked for me was to watch common birds as much as possible. It wasn't enough just to lift my binos up long enough to identify them (though that was necessary) but by watching their behaviour I became familiar with them in the same way that you become familiar with your family and friends. You can pick them out in a crowd can't you? What happened for me was that when I got really familiar with common birds and how they looked from every angle, it was easier and easier to spot a bird that was unusual and also to decide what was different about it. I don't know if this will work for you but it certainly did for me.

Good luck with your birding (and don't forget there is more in nature than just birds) and welcome to Bird Forum.


John In Ireland

Well-known member
I would like to have at least a general idea before going out with a birding group and making a complete fool of myself.

This will never happen. Other birders are always willing to share knowledge. Not just on here but birding groups as well. The "general idea" comes from getting out, looking, listening, learning, but most of all enjoying.

John :t:


Picture Picker
Welcome to BirdForum! I am sure you will find lots to interest you here, and I hope you enjoy your visits.

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