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How birds fly and move in foliage can help you ID them

how birds fly
From top to bottom, the movements of a warbler, goldfinch, and chickadee showing the typical flight path, with bursts of wingbeats, and then movements through the foliage. Larger dots indicate more time on that perch. Art by David Sibley
Understanding variations in bird flight and behavior can put you on the path to identifying birds more quickly.
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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), guides to birds of eastern and western North America (2016), and What It’s Like to Be a Bird (2020). 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.

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