Click on the photo above to view a larger image.
What happens when you take away the color-markings of raptors? In certain light, you may lose the colors and be left with a black and white palette. Plates like this one from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors train you to recognize patterns and shadings in any light.
Black and white! In the field, birds are seen in various lighting situations, and often they can appear colorless. This is especially true against a white sky or when backlit. Even the shapes of birds can appear to change lightly in various situations, so practicing watching hawks in situations other than blue skies will prove useful. Take a stab at these black-and-white images…but notice how nearly all the ID traits are still visible. Learning to see birds as a pattern in shades of gray will make you a much better field birder.