In reply to Activity 1, yesterday, I went birding and had a hard time figuring out if the birds I was seeing were mourning doves or another kind of dove. I at least knew by the size and shape that they were definitely doves or pigeons. I find that I am using the shape of the bird to figure it out a bit more now--that's a sparrow shape or a duck shape or a tern shape. And that makes me feel like I am making progress. But it's still really difficult to identify all of the birds I see when I go out.
These, for example, are *I think* California towhees, but it was really hard to tell, even after looking at multiple field guides and the Merlin app.