Point 4 and 5 Extra Tips

We think that these are the hardest points to place. A lot of birds have feathers around the edges of their mouths, and the scanners can find it difficult not to smooth them in to the rest of the bill. This is particularly true of museum specimens, which may be over a hundred years old and starting to look a bit scruffy! So how can you tell if you’re looking at the bill, or at over-smoothed feathers?

Symmetry is a good starting place. All of the birds you will see on Mark My Bird should have symmetrical bills, so if you find that you’ve placed point 4 much further forward than point 5 (or vice versa), then feathers are probably to blame! If this happens, please reject the bill and let us know that this is why.

Symmetry is good!

Asymmetry is bad!

You can also use an image search to see where the beak stops and the feathers start on photos of the living bird. This is a very good way of checking that you’re in the right place.

See also the tips for marking the edge curves.