Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more!
Start Your Free Trial

David Sibley explains eye-rings

Bird eye-rings explained by David Allen Sibley
The illustration of a generic warbler’s head (top left) shows the actual feather outlines that make up a bird’s eye-ring. The sketches of Kentucky Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and Orange-crowned Warbler show how variable eye-rings are. Art by David Allen Sibley

Sign up for our newsletter for more identification tips, bird news and more!

A few minutes browsing any field guide will demonstrate the importance of the eye-ring for bird identification. It comes up again and again for species from sandpipers to sparrows. This is a relatively small and simple plumage marking, but it is disproportionately important.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a BirdWatching member to access our first-rate articles and columns on bird ID and photography as well as quarterly webinars hosted by experts in the field.
Originally Published

Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up for Free
David Sibley

David Sibley

David Sibley writes the column “ID Toolkit” in every issue of BirdWatching. He published the Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000, the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior in 2001, and Sibley’s Birding Basics in 2002. He is also the author of the Sibley Guide to Trees (2009), the Sibley Guide to Birds-Second Edition (2014), and guides to birds of eastern and western North America (2016). He is the recipient of the American Birding Association’s Roger Tory Peterson Award for lifetime achievement in promoting the cause of birding and a recognition award from the National Wildlife Refuge System for his support of bird conservation.

David Sibley on social media