While waxing eloquent about the Red-bellied Woodpecker, I described the male of the species as red from his nape to his lores. His lores? I’m sure that many readers wondered where exactly these lores are. Well, I’m glad that you asked. Remember, we’re all learning together here.  Let this be our first lesson in ornithological anatomy. The lores is the space between the eyes and the upper part of the bill. If you’re having trouble picturing this area, imagine where a bird’s glasses would be perched if it were to wear cute little bird glasses.

Oftentimes, successful bird identification is a result of meticulous attention to detail. With some birds, the lores presents the most conspicuous field mark. For example, the White-throated Sparrow is most easily identified by its yellow lores. So next time you spot a bird, look to the lores. You may be glad you did.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.