In 1917, the American poet Wallace Stevens published a poem called 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. In truth, 13 is a major understatement, with just as much variation in “why” as their is in “how”. Whether you’re a life “lister”, a casual admirer, or anywhere in between, at some point each and every one of has had a moment where we saw a bird and thought to ourselves, “what is that?”
In the past, this has been the moment that separates the bird watchers from the bird seers. It takes a certain kind of intrigue and drive to tear into a field guide, piecing together evidence to find the right ID, the kind that the casual observer might have balked at. Now, with increasing developments in technology, answering that question has never been easier and more accessible. All you need is a smartphone!