Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, Texas
Karen Morton, Collections Manager, Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature Science has over 6,000 bird study skins and mounted specimens available for education and research. Many of these specimens were collected in North-central Texas. This collection is now being updated.
Common Identification Problems
Using the Perot Museum study skins as a local resource, we can illustrate several troubling field identification issues among a few species encountered within North-central Texas.
Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk and juvenile Broad-winged Hawk The linked page shows side-by-side young RSHA and BWHA for comparison.
Red-tailed "Harlan's" Hawk and typical Red-tailed Hawk. The linked page shows the very different "Harlan's" hawk subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk.
Caladris Sandpipers - The linked page shows, (A.) side-by-side looks at White-rumped Sandpiper and Bairds' Sandpipers, and (B.) side-by-side looks at White-rumped Sandpiper and Western Sandpiper.
Caprimulgids - The linked page shows size differences between Chuck-will's-widow, Eastern Whip-poor-will, and Common Poorwill.
Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - The link shows side-by-side differences on the study skins.
Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers - The linked page show the conspicuous difference in beak size.
American Crow and Chihuahuan Raven - The linked page shows side-by-side size comparison of American Crow and Chihuahuan Raven and emphasizing the size variability of both species in the field.
Eastern Wood-Pewee and Western Wood-Pewee - The linked page shows the color differences in the lower mandible of both species.
Great-crested Flycatcher and Ash-throated Flycatcher - The linked page shows the subtle color variation of both species.
Bell's Vireo and Warbling Vireo - The linked page shows side-by-side comparison of both species.
Philadelphia Vireo and Warbling Vireo - The linked page shows the slight color variation of both species.
Tufted Titmouse and Black-crested Titmouse - The linked page shows the differences in crest color.
Veery and Gray-cheeked Thrush - The linked page shows the subtle differences of brown coloration on the backs of both species and shows the pattern difference on the front of both species.
Wood Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, and Hermit Thrush - The linked page shows the subtle differences in color, spotting, and size between these three species.
Sprague's Pipit and American Pipit - The linked page shows a side-by-side look at the backs of both species.
Northern Waterthrush and Louisiana Waterthrush - The linked page shows three reliable field characteristics: The differences in bill size, supercilium width, and the spotting on the throat.
Black-throated Green Warbler and Golden-cheeked Warbler - The linked page examines three different positions in order to evaluate color and pattern on the two
Eastern Towhee and Spotted Towhee (males) - The linked page shows side-by-side comparison of two adult males.
Eastern and Spotted Towhee (females) - The linked page shows side-by-side comparison of four different adult females.
Chipping Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow - The linked page shows a side-by-side comparison of a Chipping Sparrow and 1st-year White-crowned Sparrow.
Savannah, Song, and Lincoln's Sparrows - Linked page shows side-by-side images of all three species.
Female Painted and Indigo Bunting - The linked page shows the difference in coloration of both front and back.
All study skin photos by Jim Peterson
Important Educational Links to Specific Field Identification Challenges: