As you consult the species profiles on this site you will encounter a number of ornithological terms that describe the "landscape," or groups of feathers, of a bird's body. Learning these terms will help you use your field guide and, when you look at living birds, prompt you to see more detail with each sighting.
1. Start by looking at the bird's head. Note its bill and the markings on its face. 2. Get a feel for the bird's overall shape and size and note body markings. 3. Note shapes and markings of tail and wings. 4. Watch it fly and note markings visible in flight.