How to search birds on RikenMon's nature guide.
The goal is to name the bird you just spotted, whether it is flying or sitting in a tree. Sometimes this makes it hard to determine how it looked.
On the search page (click on the bird ) you will find physical characteristics (left side) and behavioural characteristics (right side) that could be observed. On some characteristics multiple options are valid, however you can select only one. The exception being color for which you can select multiple. All valid characteristics are presented on the details page. All selections can be easily undone; this has no impact on the other selections. All selections can be used separately as well as simultaneously, you will instantly see the result in both picture set and number of records.
||By clicking the picture tile you are redirected to the correct detailspage.
||By clicking the star (left side) the search selection is undone.
Most people have a pretty good idea of the size of a sparrow, duck and eagle. Hence this is the base for size determination. Individuals can differ; for birds of prey the female is often the largest as where with gulls the male is the larger! We tried to categorize the best fit, for example 12-16cm. will be placed <15cm. The given length is with tail, note that long tailed birds appear in the larger category. Tip: Choose a different size when your search is unsuccesful!
The shape is not very scientific but just roughly what you see in a glimpse. If you have no idea sometimes the shape will help you.
Birds of prey are large with sharp claws, a hooked bill and strong wings. Owls Have rather large heads and a face. Fowls are pheasant like and wading birds have sturdy bodies on rather long legs. Waterbirds are like ducks, geeze, swans floating on the water. Pickers characterize themselfes by sturdy beaks and with limited size. Slender birds are fast and manouvrable like hummingbirds or swalows. Songbirds are small compact birds amd Parrots have a hooked bill with a large head and long tail. The Pigeons have round shaped bodies with a small head. In the end we are left with the odd shaped birds like Penguins and Pelicans.
Multiple colors can be selected which immediately take effect; by clicking the arrow (right side) you leave color selection. Your selected colors will have a black border, clicking again will clear this color. For lots of birds the males, females and young have different colors; furthermore there can be inter individual differences. On the details page you will find all possible colors. Tip: Reduce your color selection if your search is unsuccesful.
Legs are similar for a lot of birds, 2 observations can be made easily. Webbing is the flipper of ducks where there is webbing between toes. We have included toe webbing like the coot, which has very "wide" toes. And we have long legs, that need to be similar or larger as the body size.
For the beak (or bill) we can say many are fairly standard, like the gull, crow or duck. Some however have similar outlines you can select here. Blunt we see a lot on seed eaters like the finch and sparrow, the beak is high compared to its length. Long we see a lot (but not limited to) on wading birds, where the length exceeds the head size. Curved is where both upper and lower beak are curved. Hooked we see for birds like parrots and birds of prey, the upper beak is longer and bend or curved falling over the lower beak. Pointy is where the beak is needle shaped but not very long. Sturdy is a strong beak with a pointy tip suitable for picking. Round is for beaks that have a rounded tip mostly seen on waterbirds. When not in the above 7 categories we have put the selection in other!
Some birds seem to have no neck like the sparrow and blackbird, we will call short necked. However; for example for a duck you can clearly see a distance between head and body, we call this normal. Is this distance larger as the body length we say it's a long neck.
Is the tail larger than the body or oddly shaped (like a black grouse) you can select a large tail. If either female or male has a large tail we denote large as well!
Some birds prefer colonies while others prefer to be solitary. It is interesting to know what social behavior the species has however difficult to see. This items is given in the details page and currently not selectable and can confirm your sighting
The habitat is the surrounding where the bird prefers to live, either to nest or to find food. Lot of birds have multiple habitats, on the details page you will find where the bird likes to be. Under bushes we have put also forest edges and very open forest. Tip: select the habitat where you spotted the bird.
Some birds really eat everything, like gulls. On the details page you will have a separate symbol for that. Omnivorous birds do eat animal and plant material, however not necessary carrion. Water life includes all smaller water creatures not being fish. Prey is life birds/mice/reptiles as where carrion is animal rests. Fruit includes nuts. Insects are all smaller creatures.
Some birds build enormous nests which houses hundreds, others use old (abandoned or not) nests, some dump their egg in another their nests and some have nests so unique we call "Uniek". The question remains: whose nest is this. A cavity can be self made by a woodpecker, but also a Muskovy duck breeds in a hollow tree! A burrow is mostly made in a sand wall, but can also be between rocks or other cavities with a clear entrance. Woven closed have a small opening which in some cases is only large enough to get food in.... Woven open is mostly round with an indentation. A platform is rougher, larger and missing the indentation. On surface can be just a small indentation or some twigs and feathers together for the eggs to lay on, however not elevated. Some species never make a nest or use old nest of other birds, this is called none/borrow. Finally there are parasite birds that let other species hatch their eggs after which the young disembark the other young or just pretend to be siblings.