What do you do to ID a mystery bird?

Mike Hall

We've been sort of getting together at reported rare bird locales, but it's been a long time since I could raise questions with a knowledgeable leader or gang of birders. What do you do if you've got a list of characteristics, or even photos, that simply do not jibe with what's in the field guides? Is there a resource for birds that works like those tree finders that lead you from leaf to bark to nut until all is eliminated except your species? I imagine Merlin works like this, though in a limited way. I wouldn't know, as Merlin is for mobile devices only, and it's too large an app for my phone. Are there forums, like this one but more structured around specifics of I.D.?
I have a case study to offer (from yesterday evening, and it's kept me tied up), but first I'll wait to see what comes of this plea. Thanks!

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