Peterson's Perspective

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FIELD MARKS

The wing bars, eye-rings, tail spots, and rump patches of a bird are the field marks that distinguish it from every other bird. Most of us cannot imagine trying to identify a bird without a clear idea of that bird's individual field marks. The Peterson Identification System precisely defines those marks. Using a scheme of arrows pointing to the key field marks of each bird, the Peterson System removes much of the mystery and confusion of bird identification, especially among similar and confusing species.
Topography of a Bird
Know your field marks
Good birders know the key parts of a bird's anatomy. See if you know which marks the arrows point to, then see the correct names of all the marks.

Good birders spend years and years learning the key field marks of species to differentiate one from another. The Peterson Systems provides a solid foundation and a useful method, but for most birders, the challenges — and joys — will never end.

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