Bird-identification posters are very useful resources for adults and children alike. They are designed as quick references and can be placed near bird-watching areas for ease of use. You can purchase different types of posters ranging from garden birds to seabirds and birds of prey.
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Bird-identification posters should feature large colour photographs or illustrations and clear labels. Some will give some detail on the habits and food types of the birds, as well as listing their species, but in the main they are meant as a quick reference tool, to then aid further research later from a book.
Birds can be grouped by family, or features such as beak shape, size or colour. It is useful to have one that gives both the Latin and the common name for the bird, so you can recognise the birds by both names.
Bird watchers may not agree whether photos are better than illustrations. While photographs may seem more reliable on the surface, some people prefer illustrations as the quality of the photo light can sometimes make features less clear. Illustrations tend to highlight even the smallest detail between similar species.
Posters can encourage children, and adult beginners, to identify wild birds. You can buy ones aimed specifically at children in bright colours and large fonts with clear language. Posters range from large and decorative to hang near windows to compact size, handy for travel. As the child learns to identify the birds around them he can then collect more specialist posters for birds of particular habits, such as woodland and hedgerow birds.
The most practical posters are printed on a durable surface, preferably a laminated one you can wipe clean.
You can get separate posters for summer and winter migrant birds to allow you to concentrate only on the birds that are likely to be around at that particular time. Similarly, you can can find posters to show different regional birds, which will narrow your focus down as well -- an important aspect of bird-watching.
As well as providing entertainment for yourself and the family, identifying birds with the aid of identification posters can also provide an important conservation benefit by recording the results you see (whether in garden or specialist habitat) and sending to your local or national wild bird conservation charity. Many are on the lookout for your observations and you can also learn some of the patterns and population trends, which will give you a fuller and deeper understanding of wild birds in the ecosystem.
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