Hawkward! ‘Expert’ birdwatchers misidentify common birds as rarities

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    Hawkward! ‘Expert’ birdwatchers misidentify common birds as rarities
    What's that bird?

    What’s that bird?

    David Tipling Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo

    By David Adam

    Spotting rare species is a feather in the cap for many birdwatchers. But they might need to give their binoculars a clean: people who describe themselves as expert birders are more likely to misidentify common birds as rare and exotic species than those who are more modest about their knowledge.

    Julia Schroeder of Imperial College London and her colleagues wanted to check the reliability of wildlife observations produced by citizen science projects. They asked nearly 2700 amateur ornithologists in the UK to identify pictures and drawings …

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