This is #11 of 31 Ways to Better Birding and Conservation
Have you ever saw a bird that you just had no idea what it could be? We sure have. But here’s a great little tip: read your field guide. Not all field guides are created equal, but they all offer loads of important information. But often we only look at it when we need to figure out an identification.
Instead, a good way to learn birds is to read through your guide. You can start by picking a section, say the warblers or flycatchers, and read every word. Look at the drawings or photographs, compare the birds to one another, read the description of their sounds, what season they are found in your area (if the are), their habitat, etc. The information is a lot to take in at once but will help immensely when you are in the field and that once strange bird is now familiar from your field guide.