One of the biggest problems a beginner will face is identifying a particular bird in the air. Even long-time breeders will have problems with certain colors and combinations, but there are tricks that can be used to help you in this matter.
Kevin Monroe started this interesting discussion, that addresses this topic:
To follow up on the flying all one color post. What means of Identifying birds in the air.. do you use when they are all predominantly the same color? I seen plenty of good ideas through the years.
Below is what I have used for years. My birds are all expressing the bald pied gene in some form and very hard to distinguish one from the other in the air. This works like a charm!
Glen Emrick: I use bright hair paint. works good on the white parts of the bald heads I raise.
Brandon Finlayson: I use something like them. Bingo markers from Amazon
Vince van Royen: Bingo daubers and bingo markers are basically the same thing. I use them, and I also put colored silicone o-rings on certain birds that I want to keep an eye on. Dave Henderson uses Halloween hair spray. On the black birds I use bright colored spray paint.
Ted Blanzy: That’s what I’ve found to be the easiest and they last for a very long time on the bird and a little goes a little goes a long ways. I have 4oz size and have been using the same ones for years
John Potter: I notch the tail feathers, by cutting 2 inches off the top of 2 feathers on the left right and middle, good for 4 similar birds anyway.
Brian Krog: John Potter, I loved my little taped surveyor strips! I wrapped each tail’s end in low stick masking tape first. Each survey tape colour gave me three variations – on the left, in the center, and on the right. It was how I did it. Every time I flew – I was writing a “report card” on at least one bird.
Mark Fields: When I had the Westfall Jacs there were some Recessive Red selfs and Black Selfs that were good and yet virtually indistinguishable from others of that same color when in the air. Using the tail notches solved the problem for me and it made no difference in their performance.
Charles Kendrix: I have always used food coloring dissolved in rubbing alcohol. It last a long time, and like most other color tricks works best on the white areas.