How many rare birds do we miss?

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As birders we often talk about the problem of common birds being misidentified as rare ones. The counterpoint, but probably more frequent, is that rare birds are simply overlooked. Here’s a link to a fantastic “Awareness Test” on YouTube. 

Give it a try, it only takes a minute. The relevance of this test to bird identification should be obvious, so now you can just imagine all the rare birds you haven’t seen.

9 thoughts on “How many rare birds do we miss?”

  1. VERY interesting Dave! I had a roosting Screech owl right outside my front door and I only found it by accident, so the point is well taken.

  2. Blonde-headed Nuthatch

    After taking the test I have come to the realization that I have most likely missed around 12,000 rarities since I began birding in 1989. Most of these while I was intently studying my trusty Sibley Field Guide. D#@*~!

  3. David, when this was dancing around the twitter a while ago, I actually thought of you, one of the few people I know who wouldn’t be in the least fazed by it.

    Missing the keenly observant in my current forays outside the birdwatching world,
    -Linda

  4. Nice! I failed it, but it has a good point. I always miss things if I am not specifically looking for them. Thanks!

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