This month's quiz bird produced an interesting array of responses, but most were of some species of duck. The wide bill and webbed feet certainly support such an identification.
Waterbirds. They are among the first birds that we learn. Most are found in the open. Most are easy to identify. And most receive little attention after the first few years of birding.
When dealing with a relatively uneventful bird such as this, it's best to return to the basics and focus on size and shape/structure. In this case, it's hard to make out the size for certain, but we can make a reasonable assumption from the twig that this is a fairly small bird.
The challenging combination of dense vegetation and active birds can make bird identification tricky. In this case it's hard to make out a lot on this bird.
There are not that many birds with a bright yellow throat, bright yellow lores, and heavily patterned brown and black upperparts.
Now these two birds are walking around, but what are they?
The combination of size and shape is so important in bird identification, that when we see a bird at an odd angle at an unknown distance, it can often be very challenging to identify.
This bird has a relatively thin and small bill, a wash of yellow on heavily streaked underparts, and a short tail with prominent tail “spots”.
The first step is to place a bird into the correct “group” of shorebirds, which we do largely by focusing on structure.
Identifying many birds in flight can be challenging. Birds often fly away from us.