Blackpoll Warbler (Donna Dewhurst, USFWS) Birders (Robert Howe) Brewer's Blackbird (Lee Karney, USFWS)

About the Tests

Visual Identification Test

  1. You will be shown a random selection of 20 bird pictures. Our database has over 3000 images encompassing over 300 total species. Note: images used on the Practice Visual tests are not included on the actual Visual Identification tests. 
  2. While you are going through the bird pictures on the test, have a notebook ready to jot down details of birds that are difficult for you to identify. You may refer to field guides during the test.
  3. The test includes birds that could occur anywhere in the BCR and habitat you selected. Most, but not all, are images of species during breeding season, but there are some pictures of juvenile or immature birds, migrants, and wintering birds as well.
  4. You can view each bird picture as long as you'd like, but you should expect to complete the test within 20 minutes. The "BEGIN TEST" button records your start time and the "SUBMIT TEST" button records your end time.  Due to differences in browser and internet connections, the test will not stop after 20 minutes, but a significant deviation from 20 minutes may be cause for disqualification of your results.
  5. Your test will be graded online and your responses stored in our database. You will be informed immediately of your grade.
  6. You may take the Visual Identification Test up to 100 times per BCR and habitat.
  7. For Certification Level 1, you must pass two Visual Identification Tests with a grade of at least 15 of 20 on both tests. For Certification Levels 2 and 3, you must pass two Visual Identification Tests with a grade of at least 18 of 20 on both tests.
  8. Note that birders can now take a newly added specialty test called BCR 101, also known as the Great Lakes Waterbird Visual Test. Please see the Certification Levels page for more information.
 

Audio Identification Test

  1. You will be presented with a random selection of three 2-minute audio clips recorded at sites from the BCR and habitat you selected. Our Test Audio database has over 500 audio clips.
  2. While you are listening to the audio clips, have a notebook ready to jot down your preliminary identification of each bird heard. You may refer to field guides or bird identication audio CD's during the test.
  3. The audio clips are not perfect – expect to hear occasional gusts of wind, background noises, and other distractions (just as you would in a real-life field survey).
  4. The test includes pictures of the habitat near the recorded sites. The pictures are not full 360° views, thus birds from nearby habitats might be heard during the recordings. Jot down all species identified, even birds that are uncharacteristic of the pictured habitat.
  5. You can listen to the clips as often as you'd like, but you should expect to complete the test within 20 minutes. The "BEGIN TEST" button records your start time and the "SUBMIT TEST" button records your end time.  Due to differences in browser and internet connections, the test will not stop after 20 minutes, but a significant deviation from 20 minutes may be cause for disqualification of your results.
  6. Your test will be graded online and your responses stored in our database. You will be informed immediately of your grade. If you do not pass, your test will also be examined manually and you will be notified if your grade changes.
  7. You may take the Audio Identification Test up to 100 times per BCR and habitat.
  8. For Certification Level 2, you must pass two Audio Identification Tests with a grade of at least 50% on both tests. For Certification Level 3, you must pass two Audio Identification Tests with a grade of at least 80% on both tests.