Friday, 18 November 2016

Niko Shefer - Four Keys to Identifying a Bird

Niko Shefer is an extremely busy professor of English Literature at the University in South Africa. Whenever he can, he loves to explore the outdoors in South Africa and go birdwatching. In addition to skiing, snowboarding, and hiking,

Niko Shefer

Shefer loves to birdwatch whenever he goes outdoors. When he is in the wild identifying birds, he sticks to these three keys to identifying birds:

·  Size and shape. A bird’s size and shape are the first identifying factors for birdwatchers like Niko Shefer. Many practiced birdwatchers become familiar with the silhouettes of different birds so they can identify them from afar.

·  Color pattern. Species often vary not only by color of the feathers but also by the pattern on the feathers. Are there spots, stripes, or blotches of different colors?

·  Behavior. This is where some research is needed to help you identify birds in the field. If you know what a Cedar Waxwing is most likely looking for to eat, you can identify it by what it’s doing as it flies around you. If you have a bad light or you’re too far away to see clearly, you can usually identify a bird by how its flying and what it eats.

·  Habitat. Know which birds to expect before you head out into the wild. The more you know about their habitat and which birds you can expect to find, the easier it will be to identify birds.

Niko Shefer has been on many bird watching excursions since he moved to South Africa in 2006.

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