|Birds Queensland Brochures on Bird Identification
© I. & J. Brown
Specialised identification tables
|Male Satin Bowerbird moulting into full breeding plumage © V. Jones|
Bird identification can be difficult, even for experienced birders, and many discussions occur during group walks and camps on this subject. Reference books are most useful and our separate reference page details a range of books that you may be able to find at your local library to learn about and to identify our Australian birds.
In addition, Birds Queensland has a number of aids which may help both beginners and experienced birders to know exactly which bird they have seen.
Birds Queensland runs courses in bird identification which discuss the main features of birds, and show the points of difference between similar species.There are two levels of course, one for beginners, and an advanced course for more experienced birders. Each course includes two evening classes, and two week-end outings, with experienced birders to help with location and identification of birds. The courses cost $25 each.
Birds Queensland publishes two brochures to help in identifying birds:
- What's that bird? This brochure (PDF, 238 KB) is suitable for people with a general interest in common species, or for educational activities with children. It contains a checklist for recording birds which have been seen over a four week period.
- A selection of Queensland birds This is a more comprehensive brochure (PDF, 664 KB). It contains color illustrations of and brief notes on 80 species of birds seen primarily in south-east Queensland, many of which can also be seen elsewhere in the State. Printed copies of both brochures can be obtained from Birds Queensland.
There are a number of other organisations providing useful guides for bird identification:
- Moreton Bay Regional Council has produced a brochure (PDF, 1400KB) with colour images of birds of Pumicestone Passage to provide information about and help in the identification of shorebirds. These can also be obtained from this Council.
- John Young Wildlife Enterprises produced a colour brochure (PDF, 1400KB) on birds of tropical north Queensland for Townsville Enterprise Ltd. It provides illustrations of birds of the tropical north.
- For help in identifying Australian birds, the website, Birds in backyards, provides detailed information on many Australian birds. It is sponsored by Birds Australia and the Australian Museum. The Bird Finder tool assists in identifying species.
© I. & J. Brown
For those concerned with the finer points of identification, there are some useful tables that assist in the differentiation of certain bird species which can be easily confused. These tables are based on those originally prepared by Bob Forsyth from Mount Isa. The following links lead to these tables kept as small pdf files:
- Collared Sparrowhawk vs Brown Goshawk (PDF, 27 KB)
- Crows and Ravens (PDF, 85 KB)
- Cuckoos (PDF, 113 KB)
- The Meliphagas Honeyeaters (PDF, 77 KB)
- Fairy Martin vs Tree Martin (PDF, 14 KB)
- Grey-tailed versus Wandering Tattler (PDF, 83 KB)
- The Terns of Queensland (PDF, 14 KB)
Bob Forsyth suggests the printing out and photocopying of these tables on a laser printer if you need to take them into the
field, as ink jet ink is water soluble.
Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader