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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Birding 4

Length of Segment: 00:01:15

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. There used to be only one really good choice when seeking a field guide to identify birds: Roger Tory Peterson's A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America came to be known as 'the birders’ bible'. Today, we have a wide array of guides to choose from. Some, like Peterson's, are limited to eastern or western North America, others span the continent. Although each has its fans, what's great for one person may not be the best field guide for another, so check them out. When you select a field guide, read the introductory pages.  These will introduce you to some of the vocabulary used to point out identifying characteristics. Before you know it, you'll be familiar with terms like 'wing bars,’ 'tail coverts,’ and 'eye ring,’ and will be discussing the finer points of birding. In doing so, you may also learn that the ‘gizz’ of a bird is the general impression you get of a bird that helps you identify it the next time you see it. And you'll also pick up the jargon for birds that elude quick identification. Those sparrows that pop up and then dive quickly into the grass become 'LBJs,’ little brown jobs, and those small non-descript sandpipers covering a mud flap become simply 'peeps'.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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