Get into the habit looking at the back side of birds. Undertail covert patterns are valuable, especially when that may be all you can see of a bird high in a tree.
Field marks vary from bill color to wing bars to notched tails. Personally, I find central breast dots, often referred to as "stick pins," necessary.
Finally, many birds will form loose associations or communities, and will flock with others. Use the birds you know to help you ID the unknowns.Beth "the eggs would have been tacky"
with the stone chicken
Can anybody name that chicken?