jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Birding 5

Length of Segment: 00:01:07

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Field guides for the identification of birds vary greatly in scope and in the way birds are presented. Some birders prefer photographs to artwork in a field guide because they show real birds. Other birders prefer artwork. One of the problems with the use of photos is that under different lighting conditions, plumage colors can appear different. A white breast may appear yellow in an early morning or late afternoon photo. Artwork can present the usual color and pattern, but often does not present the pose or habitat context that a photo can present. Most guides have range maps that are color-coded to let you know where birds are in winter, summer, or during migration. Range maps are important and most useful if they appear on the same page as the illustration of the bird. There is no best guide for all birders. In truth, if you really get into birding, you're going to want to own two or more guides. When you select a field guide, read the introductory pages; these introduce you to the vocabulary used to point out identifying characteristics.

'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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