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Learning how to identify birds by impression

METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR IDENTIFYNG BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

Pablo José jodra arilla


Copyright of the present edition: © 2017, Pablo José Jodra Arilla All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information retrieval system without the prior written permission of the copyright holders.

Title: Learning how to identify birds by impression

Subtitle: Methods and techniques for identifying birds by impression

Author: Pablo José Jodra Arilla

ISBN-13: 978-1981629374 ISBN-10: 1981629378 Proofreading and translation: Elisabet Carreras Design and layout by: Diana Petrut Illustrations: Juan Varela Cover author: Fernando Tomás Photographs: Pablo José Jodra Arilla and Adrian Petrut


Dedication: “To my parents, my true teachers”


Contents

Summary ........................................................................................................7 Preface ............................................................................................................9 Introduction .................................................................................................11 Key words of the ID by impression .........................................................23

FIRST PART The impressions ..........................................................................................26 1. The right side of the brain and the active and conscious generation of impressions ................................................................................................................28 2. The variables ................................................................................................40 3. The cards .....................................................................................................50 4. Operations with cards ...................................................................................68 5. The basic collection ......................................................................................84

SECOND PART Birding by impression ................................................................................90 6. Basic structure information ..........................................................................94 7. The size of the bird .....................................................................................116 8. Shape .........................................................................................................136 9. Small structural variables............................................................................148 10. Structural profile ......................................................................................162 11. A bird’s movements ..................................................................................174 12. The flight .................................................................................................196


13. Vocalisations ............................................................................................212 14. The ecological position .............................................................................224 15. Behaviour profile and ecology ...................................................................228 16. Plumage analysis ......................................................................................232 17. Integrated profile of the bird, species and family ......................................244 18. Birding by impression (BBI) system ...........................................................254

References ..................................................................................................260 The author .................................................................................................264 Acknowledgements ..................................................................................267


Technology: Set of theories and techniques that allows the practical use of scientific knowledge.

Method:

1. Ordered and systematic way to proceed to obtain a particular result. 2. Set of rules and exercises to teach an activity, art or science.

System: Set of processes, or interlinked components, to form a totality directed towards a common objective.

System synonyms: Procedure, method, mode, use, habit, practice, style, via, medium, course, technique, ordinance, norm, tone, plan, rule, regime, government, organization, structure, net, doctrine.


LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

Summary Reading the basic information of the book Learning how to identify birds by impression and performing its exercises, both in field and at your desk, qualifies the observer for identifying birds by impression. The subsequent practice will allow acquisition of expert level. The observer will discover a practical and systematic method in the course of which they will operate through evaluation, comparison and synthesis the holistic variables of the sighted bird. These variables are structure, behaviour, ecology and plumage. The variables can be applied to an individual, a species or a family. The evaluative language, a kind of scientific language, is that used by the observer to form the sentences resulting from the variable operation. During the formulation of sentences, impressions are generated in the right side of the observer’s brain. These simple and complex impressions are the equivalent of the bricks we use in the building and construction of birding by impression. Complex impression profiles are located in the subconscious memory, therefore are very stable and easy to recover. In this conscious and systematic way, the observer achieves a significative increase of efficacy, efficiency, universality and representativeness in birds identification and this allow him to acquire a remarkable skill in a much shorter time than using traditional methods. As a result, the observer acquires a method for identifying birds, which has proven to be very effective, efficient, representative and universal. This method largely increases the observer’s capacity to reach an expert level, as well as a global view of the bird based on their knowledge and familiarity, with the base of the birding by impression.

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LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

Preface Learning how to identify birds by impression develops a holistic system for the conscious identification of birds by impression, based in the development of learning possibilities in the right side of the brain (Karlson K and Rosselet D, 2015). Acquisition of this expertise allows the observer to improve efficiency, speed, reliability and universality in the identification of birds with respect to traditional systems. Acquiring expertise in the practice of birding by impression (BBI) means increasing efficiency and learning in identification, since it is a method that can be put in practice after a short period of study. Acquiring such skill means that the observer possesses the skills of an expert, acquired in a much shorter time, compared to traditional systems. Birding by impression works even in adverse conditions of visibility, it better reflects the bird composition of a population or community, and provides a comprehensive knowledge of the bird in its environment. The technology of holistic origin is the most effective approach to find solutions or to improve the management of complex systems, as is the system of birding by impression or BBI. It is estimated there is an increase in expertise when using birding by impression compared to classical techniques of identification: by plumage, GISS (Dunne P, 2006) and jizz (Blomdahl A, Breife B and Holstrom N, 2012). Identification by plumage is based on the detailed analysis of plumage, which is characteristic of the left side of the brain and therefore tends to underestimate behaviour and structural variables, typical of a holistic process. In the GISS technique (General Impression of Size and Structure) the emphasis is placed on the structure whilst the behavioural components of birding by impression are ignored. In jizz, whose concept has evolved to include a holistic point of view, birding by impression is a by-product result of the “identification by plumage�, after many years of practice. Jizz, like birding by impression, also provides an overview of the bird, has a holistic origin and does not dwell in details of plumage, but is acquired after many years of observation not aware of holistic variables. Therefore, jizz is not learnt by systematic and conscious techniques and methods. Thus, its results are very personal, subjective and difficult to translate into understandable words to other observers. Jizz is the most common way of identification among expert observers with years of experience. This book is intended for the observer to practise and acquire the basic information, the exercises to generate impressions in three steps, the user level of the four-level cards and five types of operations of a dozen variables and to manage the system of birding by impression with certain clarity. This book is not a guide to birds. It is a technology book on bird identification, where you practise the keys to improve efficiency and effectiveness in bird identification. To increase quality and productivity of bird ID.

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In the birding by impression system not only do technological aspects matter, but so do the improvement of bird identification skills. The scientific aspects are also very important, because in the birding by impression system the bird is not seen in a reductionist way but as a coherent whole inserted in its environment; it becomes “understood� and this is the pillar on which the system is based. The value proposition of the book is clear and multiple: the practical acquisition of the birding by impression system increases the efficiency and effectiveness of bird identification, by allowing the observer to obtain an expert level of ability in a comparatively short period of time. The birding by impression system is easy to use and learner friendly. The application of the birding by impression system on a bird community of a territory increases the representativeness of the sample. The Birding by impression system is universal and can be applied to any types of bird. The scientific and technical pillars on which the birding by impression system is based are very strong. This system is based on understanding birds. The birding by impression system increases productivity in bird identification and knowledge. The way in which it is done will be dealt with in the following chapters.

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Introduction When I arrived at the Doñana Biological Station at the age of 23, I was a zoologist fresh from the University of Barcelona. Although my interest was mammals, I was also interested in any living being, of course birds included. I looked to the ornithological experts and I was astonished. In tenths of a second they were able to identify a bird I had barely noticed. Are they people with special powers, divinities reincarnated or maybe superheroes, I wondered? I think of the novices who, like me then, are astonished by the experts, with the sensation of having limiting deficiencies. But I also think of the bird census enumerators; the scientists who prospect different habitats or who cover a large territorial area, teachers, researchers, educators, disseminators and journalists; of the bird census enumerators of BirdLife International’s bird monitoring programs or other national organizations, such as the great English and American ones. I also think of the innumerable fans, who enjoy in the depths of their being the bird watching. For all of them I wrote this book whose practice will allow them to identify birds by impression, in a short period of time compared to other traditional methods, as an expert does.

Nature of the book This is not a bird guide, nor does it study specific aspects such as the behaviour or the ecology of a group of birds, this is a practical book, designed and written for observers who wish to acquire an efficient and reliable skill, a profession in some cases. A book to put the birding by impression (BBI) system into practice. Birding by impression starts from a vision of the bird as a whole, a holistic and inclusive vision, not an analytic one or one formed by the parts of a whole. The birding by impression system associates and sums up, synthesises simple impressions to turn them into complex impressions of a bird. It is aimed to understand the whole bird within its environment. The ecological or holistic point of view allow to generate a higher quantity and diversity of variables to operate than those available through plumage. We are going to use the holistic variables of the structure, behaviour, environment and plumage. Apart from analysis through plumage, the processing of holistic variables is done in the right side of the brain. However, the holistic concept not only permeates the ecology and identification of birds, it is a way of analysing things and their management that unfolds each day in society. Simon Segal, a professional writer of science, technology and psychology, wrote: “Finnish educational institutions will be the first in the world to get rid of all subjects” (2017, Linkedin), ie in Finnish educational institutions instead of the traditional subjects of physics, mathematics, literature, history or geography, they will introduce a different approach, termed phenomenological education (Phenomenon Based Learning, PhenoBL). PhenoBL is based on a real holistic world. Phenomena are studied as complete entities,

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in their real context. Information and related skills are studied across the boundaries among the different topics or subjects. Students choose phenomena of their real environment, and study them through an interdisciplinary approach, which involves numerous themes. For example, the phenomenon “cafeteria services” is studied through mathematics, language, writing and communication skills. If you think about your profession and all the information you should know, you are thinking about PhenoBL! This class of learning includes an online communication network with learners and tutors who share and seek information, both collectively and individually. This approach reaches a holistic level to undertake the study and understanding of each phenomenon. Practical implementation is seen as the end product of the process. Teachers who apply this method of teaching show that they cannot go back to the old style. Birding by impression, or jizz practised until now, is acquired by expert observers through plumage after many years of practice and acquisition of non-conscious holistic impressions. It is undoubtedly reliable and fast, but as it is not a consequence of the application of a regulated, conscious, systematic and objective method (as proposed in this book), its results are subjective and therefore hardly communicable to other observers. The need for many years of experience to acquire the jizz and the reduced possibility of the communication of its results among observers makes this ID process a personal matter and it is almost absent in ornithological books This book develops a technology, which allows the observer to generate impressions of birds in the right hemisphere of the brain through a conscious, systematic and objective procedure. An impression is a unity of spatial information, an image or fraction, generated and stored by the right hemisphere of the brain through a powerful and fast subconscious memory. The right side of the brain builds from fractions of images, a more powerful impression, not a clear image. Conscious birding by impression requires the continuous and systematic practice of the operation of variables of holistic nature of the sighted bird. This practice generates impressions in the right side of the brain. This handbook is something more than a reading book. It contains a practical roadmap to exercise impression generation, which, with practice, will allow you to identify birds by impression. In my previous book, Ecological identification of birds, there was a theoretical development of the question. This book has developed a practical and guided technology, with a scientific base and an evaluative language, to effectively acquire the birding by impression technique.

Recent history of birding by impression Until the decade of 2000 to 2010, birding by impression was the real way to identify birds used by the majority of experts, as a consequence of various years of practice through plumage, not submitted to a conscious process of holistic and ruled learning. It is also known as jizz.

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From 2005 emerged authors (Dunne P, 2006) who incorporated the holistic point of view and the evaluative language but, as they did not follow a ruled and conscious learning procedure or an assessed method, the result was a subjective identification, difficult to communicate objectively. The terms jizz and impression were used indistinctly. The ecological or holistic point of view tried to understand the bird, to reach an integrated vision. Integrated knowledge of the bird would allow a better diagnostic of its identity. The practical idea to benefit from the learning skills by impression of the right hemisphere, using for it an evaluative language and following a procedure, appeared in 2015 thanks to Karlson KT and Rosselet D, and Jodra P, although in different ways.

Ecological identification of birds In my previous book, Ecological identification of birds (Jodra P, 2015), I proposed a theoretical approach using holistic based method, a result of combining the analysis done in the left hemisphere of the brain and the evaluations of the right hemisphere for identifying birds. It consisted of a process of filtering the possible species until only the probable ones remained. The final filter was produced by an evaluation of the structure and behaviour and a plumage analysis. In Ecological identification of birds, descriptions were mainly analytical, written with academic language. In this practical handbook, the evaluative language based on the right hemisphere of the brain predominates. The present technology corresponds to a process of maturation and evolution of the previous theoretical method, which is solved in a practical procedure with new variables, tools, operations and method of guided learning, step by step, to acquire the necessary dexterity.

Non-conscious procedure It has been seen that an observer who identifies through plumage acquires the status of expert bird identification by jizz after many years of practice. Paterson (2000), an important author of the seabirds of Spain and Portugal, with many years of experience through plumage, says that “…even after decades of observation... The knowledge base is built slowly... To be an expert observer takes time”. This is so because the true identification does not occur in most cases through plumage, but through evaluation of the holistic variables that the observer by plumage continuously and subconsciously incorporates, and acquires after long years of observation. The great David Sibley, a seasoned American ornithologist, pioneer and editor of excellent bird guides, stated in 2005 that “bird identification is based in most cases on a kind of subjective impression caused by the way the bird moves, as well as by the succession of instantaneous appearances from different angles; and as the bird moves the head, flies and rotates, it allows you to see sequences of different shapes and angles. All this combines and creates a unique impression of a bird that, in fact, cannot be separated from the set and explained with words. When you observe a bird

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in the field, you do not stop to analyse it to say “it has this, that and that, so it must be an example of such a species. It is something much more natural and instinctive. After much practice, one looks at the bird and feels as if small switches were activated in the brain. It is what it seems. You know what is it at first glance”. It is difficult to better express how the process of identifying a bird actually occurs in the mind of an observer through plumage: fast ID conclusion, at a glance. Subjective, that cannot be transmitted. With little relevance of plumage details. It does not have a rational explanation for what happens. Its acquisition requires a lot of practice, does not require technology, it is not conscious and needs years to develop. The reader will have recognised this kind of identification, which we have come to call “jizz”. The “jizz” ID conclusion is achieved after years of conscious observation of the plumage and unconscious observation of the variables, of holistic nature, associated with the bird and its environment. At the same time the observer analyses plumage in a conscious way, its unconscious captures the rest of the bird’s variables such as structure, behaviour and ecological position. This process is made more or less unconscious during years of practice. Technology of this book has been designed with the aim of mastering, in a reasonable time, what an expert by plumage takes years to acquire.

The conscious birding by impression This book provides tools to acquire the needed dexterity to identify familiar birds (not rare) at a glance, even in adverse conditions of visibility. Detection of a rare bird will be by exclusion, as soon as it is spotted. It also provides an integral knowledge of the bird immersed in its environment. It is an effective, fast, stable and universally applicable mental resource. The book shows a technology created for the observer to learn to identify birds by impression, after an active, systematic and conscious process. The method, and learning of birding by impression is based on the integrative properties of the right hemisphere and occurs after a process of generation of impressions (PGI). In this process, the main holistic root variables of the sighted bird are operated in a predetermined order. To construct the sentences, result of variable operation, an evaluative language is used. The mere elaboration of evaluative sentences made as well with evaluative language generates impressions in the right hemisphere. With practice, and throughout the process of practical learning, a complex impression will be produced by the accumulation of simple impressions of a species, a prelude to the sudden identification of the bird. The observer will verify that he can identify such species at a glance, without stopping to evaluate its variables.

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Conscious procedure With the neurological investigations carried out from the new millennium it was shown that the brain functions are dispersed, to a certain extent, in the cerebral volume, therefore, they do not have a specific location. Nevertheless, it is assumed that the integrative and holistic functions predominate in the right side of the brain, while on the left the analytic and disintegrating functions of a whole in its parts are very relevant. To be more precise we should talk about “functions of the left hemisphere” or “functions of the right hemisphere” to refer to the nature of cerebral functions and not to the topographic place they could occupy in the brain. With the valorisation of the potentialities of the right side of the brain, emerged authors who incorporated these properties to the learning of the most varied subjects, from music to languages. Technology of birding by impression requires the observer to consciously apply techniques and method, in order to generate holistic impressions. Identifying with the right side of the brain makes it possible for birders of any level to acquire a much improved version of jizz dexterity from expert observers through plumage in a significantly shorter time than needed if the “not conscious” jizz identification is used.

Properties of the right hemisphere All this is possible due to learning properties and treatment of information in the right side of the brain. Technology for birding by impression uses the integrative properties of the right hemisphere, not the analytical ones of the left side. The operation of the images, according to the criteria established here, takes place on the right side, in the form of impressions that are stored in the subconscious memory, which is much more versatile, agile and reliable that the slower and less precise cortical memory, associated with analytical processes. The way to start the right side of the brain is by giving you the information previously treated and letting you process it.

Connection of hemispheres If the observer identifies the bird (in field or at their desk) they are evaluating, the sentences, impressions, will be connected to the species name. Impressions will be assigned a name in words, words that are lodged in the left hemisphere. Both hemispheres are connected, and the result is impressions associated to the name of the species. The right side of the brain associates the images and sounds of the operated variables, written in evaluative language, with the name of the species located in the left side. Exercising the R mode or functions of the right hemisphere, with accurate and short descriptions, allows the formation of a mental image of bird size, shape, structural marks and behaviour without interferences of the analysis of specific details of the L mode or functions of the left hemisphere. If to the evaluation the observer they associate, from the image of the bird that they have just seen in the field, the name of the bird through analysis of the plumage, they will forge impressions of quality. The integrative

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process between both hemispheres is acquired through the repetitive exercise of the assessment of images associated with their names and analysis of the plumage. Once acquired the skill of birding by impression, the mere stimulus of the observation of the bird triggers in the observer a snapshot impression, an image, accompanied by the name of the species. The basis of technology is to operate the variables of the cards, to exercise in evaluations and, to a lesser extent, in comparisons, additions and syntheses. To acquire birding by impression requires knowing the bird very well and this requires repetition and a prolonged observation and description with which to reach familiarisation. The images and movements of the bird are gradually defined and integrated into the right lobe: the way of walking, posing, flying, its gestures, postural movements, behavioural profile, size and shape, as well as other parts of the structure.

Process to generate impressions (PGI) The objective is that the observer triggers a “cyclical process to generate impressions” (PGI) through the practical learning of such technology. For that: 1. The main and subordinate variables of holistic origin have been determined: they are variables of the structure, the size of bird, shape and other small structural variables. They are variables of the behaviour, the movements, the flight, the vocalisations and the ecological position. The plumage undergoes an analysis procedure and is not processed by the right side of the brain. It is used as a validation of the impression process. We can see that the observer’s brain sets in motion both hemispheres. 2. The cards have been created, where variables are inserted, which can thus be easily operated, both in the field and at the office. 3. The procedures to be used with the variables and their criteria of use have been determined. The main processes of the variables that will be used are the evaluation, the comparison, the sum and the synthesis. The practical way to operate the variables is to do it with the cards that the observer will carry in his mobile, moments after each sighting. Without a guide of continuity, sentences are written resulting from the operation of the variables, using an evaluative language. Once in the office, the profiles of the structure, behaviour, plumage and integration of any sighted bird will be constructed from the cards completed in the field. 4. When using the holistic variables of the bird, an evaluative language is applied. In this way, the images are recorded as impressions in the right hemisphere, associated with the name of the species. 5. Field and office practices are required for the cyclical learning process to occur. At desktop 1, knowledge is learnt as well as basic exercises. In the field, the variables are used and the corresponding evaluative sentences are written on the cards, installed in a mobile word processor. Finally, at desktop 2, the cards are completed, new operations

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are finished and archived. The repetitive practice of the cyclical process of generating impressions, or work routines, allows a conscious familiarisation and comparison among species of the same family. 6. Birding by impression applies mainly to “common birds”, which are more than 98% probable. Rare birds can be detected by exclusion but, ultimately, they are positively identified by advanced plumage ID. Once the skills in generating impressions are acquired, there will come a time when the observer identifies a bird at a glance, without stopping to use variables. From this moment, this species will be identified by impression.

Techniques and methods Maxwell Reed (2016), teacher of socio-technical innovation in the Newcastle University (United Kingdom), says there are three types of scientific works: “empirical, theoretical and methodological”. This book is a methodological work. Methodological works have to meet some of the following requirements: they have to describe new methods, be methods that contribute a change to a discipline or with the capacity to generate impacts on other disciplines and they have to be possible to apply, evaluate and refine and thus show their usefulness and meaning through a complex range of applications. The author believes that it fulfills the requirements of a scientific technology. It is the reader who must confirm.

Evaluative language With regard to “evaluative language”, Syed Uzair Ahmad, a research consultant in Islamabad (Pakistan), classifies scientific language classes as: analytical, evaluative, descriptive, inferential, literal, contextual and academic (2016). In the current technology the most used language is the evaluative. So the development of a technology that meets high standards and uses evaluative language, the basis of technology, is a scientific work and reveals the true nature and dimension of the book.

The key The images of the sighted birds should be translated into very precise and very short evaluative sentences. This is a very relevant key to generate impressions. To acquire skill in birding by impression (BBI) requires a good knowledge of the bird and this requires repetition in the evaluation of variables of bird species under observation and the development of numerous cards of different species under learning.

Guided tour from the beginning The book has been conceived so that the reader has the sensation of being accompanied

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by the author during the learning process of generation of impressions, a process that is described step by step. So, this is much more than a reading book. It is learning technology with a way forward, which includes processes, techniques and exercises of field and desktop. After the elaboration of subordinate and main cards on each sighted bird, the images used or impressions of the structure and behaviour gradually define its outline and content and integrate in the right lobe: the way a bird walks, poses, flies, performs repetitive movements and gestures of their own, deploys its posture movements and its entire behaviour profile. Evaluation of its size, shape and small parts of structure. All these operated variables give consistency to the impression of the species. Once a complex impression has been integrated, from numerous simple impressions, an instant identification with the associated name occurs when the bird-stimulus triggers. Suppose the observer starts from scratch. Either because they have always identified through plumage, or because they are facing bird groups, unknown to them, whose habitats are also unknown. In this book birds of a Mediterranean river are used to illustrate this situation from the start. The learning cycle of the observer is as follows: “Desktop 1”: in a first study, it will be necessary to train in desktop 1 to acquire a good base in the generation of impressions process and in the basic knowledge of the birds to evaluate. Variable evaluative exercises will be done based on the shapes provided in the book in which no element of design and color distracts the observer. “Field”: later, when the observer uses the variables and cards with dexterity, he will be able to evaluate in the field the observed variables and he will write in the box of the corresponding card the sentences coming from the evaluation of the variables, using an evaluative language and vocabulary, and brief and precise wording. “Desktop 2”: coming back from field, the observer refines the cards; they try to identify the sighted birds to name the impressions, and perform other operations with cards and variables such as addition, synthesis or comparison. The operations of comparison among species of the same family, of synthesis of profiles and addition of profiles of the same species ends up generating impressions of great quality and amplitude in the subconscious memory of the observer. If the observer who has already learnt to generate impressions, is going to travel to an area unknown to them and anticipates that they will encounter birds that they may have never observed, before completing cards in the field, they must spend some time in desktop 1. You have to know the biology of the family and their plumage. It is recommended to make a card adapted to the type of species expected to be sighted, although before starting to complete cards, it is worth spending time to study the main characteristics of the family and to take a look at the species involved.

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Required effort and value proposition (Both subjects are developed in Chapter 18) Required effort A semester well spent should be enough to acquire a solid basis with which generate impressions. Once the skill of generating impressions is acquired, the observer can act autonomously, where insistent practice determines its level of excellence. Conscious birding by impression requires practice and familiarisation. The observer needs to practice the use of variables, the management of main and subordinate cards on birds in nature or from illustrations of silhouettes. As an increasing number of different impressions of a species are generated from a group of evaluated cards, there will come a time when positive identifications will occur at a glance. The observer will have completed the process of generating impressions through birding by impression. They will have acquired the automatic capacity to identify, they will be prepared for subsequent sightings of new bird groups and will be able to communicate their results objectively. The book is a practical technology that joins field and desktop in order to acquire dexterity. This requires effort and time, albeit to a much lower degree than the required for the acquisition of non-conscious jizz. The technology contemplates theoretical argumentation and its use with the necessary tools to carry it out, such as the type and design of cards, main and subordinate, the type of language and vocabulary, the rules of writing sentences, the process of evaluation, comparison, addition and synthesis between the variables and the cards.

Value proposition Identifying birds with the right side of the brain means identifying a familiar bird with greater precision and speed, however not a rare one. By looking at the bird from a holistic point of view, the brain processes impressions of structure, behaviour and habitat, allowing it to have many paths that lead to the final result. In the first stage of the process, structure and behaviour, an integrated holistic impression is achieved, definitive in many cases to identify the species. To verify the diagnosis, the process ends with the plumage analysis, located in the left side of the brain. By combining both sides of the brain, we put all brain potential into use. The result is a fast and reliable identification. The ID accuracy and speed produce a more representative estimate of the birds of a habitat. This is because identifications are achieved that would be lost with the use of

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traditional methods of identification in adverse sighting conditions. Identification speed of common birds is improved. At the end of a birding by impression day, more species will have been identified than would be identified using only plumage, always among non-rare species. Birding by impression will improve to a large degree the performance of an observer. In summary, the technology of birding by impression increases the objectivity, speed, reliability, quality, precision, number and representativeness of identified birds in the same safari. It increases the observer’s current skill in bird identification and provides them with an ecological and holistic point of view. Birding by impression can become a profession in itself. Most observers who do not reach such a level of expertise will experience an improvement of quality in their understanding of birds and their ID conclusions. The professional observer acquires and shows the new skill acquired through his superior performance in identification. The amateur sees how he becomes more skillful when drawing up the listings, which will contain more birds compared to those made previously. In any case, from a personal point of view it is an opportunity to improve. The current left-watchers will also, become right-watchers. The fact that the basic skill of birding by impression can be learned in a relatively short time opens many opportunities to professionals and amateurs: the possibility to identify by impression new taxa of birds, in the same or different countries, in a short period of time; writing articles or birding by impression guides; elaborate lists of birds identified by impression; teaching birding by impression in courses and workshops… In addition to professional and amateur bird watchers, for teachers and educators it can also be a subject of master, doctorate and vocational training. It can be the subject of expositions in museums and zoos. It can be explained in talks and conferences, workshops or mini-courses. The authors of bird guides can write further bird guides including impression. Librarians and researchers will also be able to utilise the technology. In summary, potential users of this technology are birdwatchers, amateurs and professionals, BBI initiators, museums, teachers, environmental journalists, environmental educators, right-brain focused educators, assessors, technicians of environmental departments from governments and municipalities, NGO ornithologists, conservation professionals in institutions of conservation and the study of nature whose motto is change and innovation.

The right side of the brain in 2017 Works of Dunne, Karlson, Rosselet, Blomdahl, Breife, Holstrom and Jodra confirm the great performances and achievements of the conscious ID by impression, although the development of this technology for its learning is an exclusive responsibility of the author of this book. Karlson, observer by plumage at the start of his career, now expert in identification by impression, says: “after using this ID approach for several years, we

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have found our field skills increasing dramatically” (Karlson and Rosselet, 2015). Karlson discovered that his skills as a bird-watcher in the field multiplied through identifying by impression. Additionally, the impact of right side of the brain learning gains daily support in many other professional fields; learning to write, drawing and even golf, among others, have developed learning technologies that involve the right side of the brain. Impression, the right side of the brain, wins. Daniel H Pink (2016), an expert in the field of motivation in work, ensures that “the future belongs to the right hemisphere. We have reached a point where systematization, computation and automation are transformed to give way to new competencies known as high concept: this is where intuition, creativity, empathy and the right side are integrated, that characterises good leaders: visionary, intuitive and very able to see in perspective, never in an atomised, biased or reductionist way. Reflection is considered, as well as creation of a good social climate. In turn, excellence is sought as well as fostering that conscious and innovative spirit that will undoubtedly be the key to the future. You just have to believe enough in yourself so that sooner or later the world will discover everything that can offer that look that understands life from the heart and through the right hemisphere”.

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LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

Key words of the ID by impression In the technology of birding by impression, both vocabulary and language are undergoing radical changes. From here on we will become familiar with terms up until now unusual in the world of identification of birds, for instance: Analysis of plumage: objective operation carried out by the right side of the brain, used to validate the name of the species after the generation of impressions. Association: logical connection among variables of different nature, such as relating the shape of wings to the kind of flight. Connection among variables of the same stage after summary. Basic collection: birds used in this book as an example in order to operate variables and cards. Comparison: operation of variables used when you have a close reference point, or when you have a collection of references in mind or when it is possible to establish relationships among species variables of the same family. Familiarisation: the result of the process of generating impressions. It allows the distinction of an individual or a species among many others of great resemblance. First class cards (incomplete and scattered records): those in which the observer has only been able to asses one, or a small number of variables, scattered in all stages of the process. Second class cards (completed stage): the observer has been able to evaluate the variables of a main stage of the card, but only of that stage. Third class cards (completed): it has been possible to operate all of their variables. They are the most important for the generation of impressions. Main card: lists the more important and holistic basis variables and collect the operated results from the corresponding subordinate cards. Observers with more practice can operate these variables directly, without the need of using subordinate cards. This is a basic piece of the process to generate impressions (PGI). Subordinate cards: come from their corresponding variable on the main card. They develop sub-variables of a narrower spectrum for first class or incomplete or scattered cards. ID: identification. IDI: identification by impression. Impression: the way images are stored in the right side of the brain. Complex impression: association of simple impressions, which form the profile of

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a stage or of the integrated bird. They are operated through the summary of simple impressions that comprise it. Conscious impression: acquired through conscious operation of a variable. Statistical impression: the summary card individuals of the same species will provide, in addition to complex impressions -a “statistical impression� of the species. Unconscious impression versus actively, systematically and consciously acquired impression: this difference, in favour of the second, allows the acquisition of birding by impression in a significantly shorter time. This is the impression developed in this book. In situ: in the field. Left side and right side of the brain: to know the characteristic functions of each. Sentences: phrases containing the brief and accurate operation of the variables. The three stages of the process to generate impressions: structure, behaviour and plumage. Evaluative language: is one of the eight languages accepted as valid by the scientific community. This will be the more used in the impression, as it is characteristic of the right side of the brain. It primarily uses adjectives to evaluate variables. Subconscious memory: memory operated by the right side of the brain. Method: 1. Ordered and systematic way to proceed in order to obtain a particular result. 2. Set of rules and exercises to teach an activity, art or science. Operation of variables and cards: the operations used in the generation of impressions include evaluation, comparison, synthesis, vertical and horizontal addition and association. To operate a variable: to apply to the holistic variables of a bird (structure, behaviour and environment) some of the following operations: evaluation, comparison, vertical and horizontal addition, synthesis and association. Structure profile: consisting of the summary of size, shape and small structural variables. Behaviour profile: formed by movement, flight, vocalisations and ecological position of bird. General profile of a family: obtained after comparing marks one by one among the different species that make up the family. We also compare among plumages to see differences among similar species, not to generate impressions. It is preferable to do the comparisons in desktop where much more information is available. Integrated profile of bird: is the final summary of birds expressed after operating the

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LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

set of variables in an evaluative and objective language. Ecological position: is the result of the simple sum of geographical position, date and time, weather and habitat. Learning cyclical process of the process to generate impressions: desktop 1, field and desktop 2. Process to generate impressions (PGI): is a methodological approach to generate impressions consciously. Learning properties of the right side of the brain: it generates impressions from images, which are reinforced if evaluated by evaluative language and written through a short and accurate sentence. Holistic point of view: when the observer considers the bird as a whole, as a living being inserted in its environment. Holistic variables derive from the holistic vision. Synthesis: result from extraction of relevant or essential part of sum or addition of various cards. Horizontal sum of variables of the same species cards: sum of variables of cards of the same species to obtain a synthesis card of the species. Vertical sum of variables: which result is called “profile�. The structure, behaviour or plumage profile or integrated profile is the sum and subsequent synthesis of the operations of the variables of a main card corresponding to the observation of a bird. Technology: set of theories and techniques that allows the practical use of scientific knowledge. Variables: the distinctive features of a bird likely to be operated. Structure variables: size, shape and small structural variables. Behaviour variables: movements, flight, vocalisations and ecological position. Holistic variables: structure and behaviour.

The book is divided into two successive parts which cannot be skipped due to the individual parts forming an integrated whole.

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FIRST PART The impressions

It starts in Chapter 1 introducing the reader to the right-brain learning properties and their use for the identification of birds by impression. Chapter 2 describes in a practical way the holistic variables, their way of being operated and the language to be used. It also includes the cyclical process of learning based on the succession of desktop 1, field and desktop 2. Chapter 3 describes the practical stages of the process of generating impressions and the way of writing the sentences, a crucial point of the process. Chapter 4 describes how to operate the cards, also a key point of the process of generation of images. Chapter 4 contains data that is very relevant to the observer, such as the effort he will have to invest in acquiring the expertise and the benefits that, in return, he will obtain. It also includes the steps of the process of birding by impression starting from scratch. Finally, Chapter 5 includes the basic collection, which we are going to use as an example throughout the book in order to practise exercises and variable operations in desktop 1. The collection consists of birds of the middle section of a Mediterranean river, in particular the MatarraĂąa River, tributary of the great Ebro River. In the first part we are provided with knowledge, principles, processes, methods and techniques in which the identification of birds by impression is based. The Operations that are produced by them will be applied in the second part to a process of generation of impressions, to obtain the profiles of the sighted bird and their species. Profiles are complex impressions of the bird, made from simple impressions of the superimposed layers of variables, which prepare our right side of the brain for identifying birds in a quick and reliable way.

Contents of the first part: Chapter 1: The right side of the brain and the active and conscious generation of impressions Chapter 2: The variables Chapter 3: The cards Chapter 4: Operations with cards Chapter 5: The basic collection

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LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

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LEARNING HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRDS BY IMPRESSION

Chapter 1 The right side of the brain and the active and conscious generation of impressions The correct use of learning properties of the right side of the brain allows the observer to acquire a skill prior to the proper birding by impression: the generation of impressions of the bird’s variables, located in that hemisphere. Here is how this process works.

The right side of the brain The same information that reaches the brain is treated by each hemisphere in a different way. A speaker of a sports competition translates the images of the match into a passionate speech, using an evaluative language and the properties of the right side of the brain. Meanwhile, the left hemisphere analyses the game, infers strategies, gives names and interprets statistics. Each hemisphere has a different way of processing information, of thinking. The left hemisphere expresses, analyses, creates symbols, abstracts, estimates, sequences time and draws linear, objective and verifiable, logical conclusions, based on experience. As it is verbal, it analyses an object and gives a name to it using words. In the case of a bird, the observer will analyse its plumage and will give a name to the species. The left hemisphere creates symbols to represent anything or action, it takes a part of the whole or abstracts. It sequences a temporary series of acts. It is literal and therefore it is very bad at using metaphors. It uses reason and facts to obtain a structured explanation from which to draw conclusions. Its explanation is linear, like the beads of a rosary where ideas are kept linked one after the other. It estimates by using figures, that is to say, by using symbols. The right hemisphere prioritises sense and intuition. It is not linear and prioritises lateral thinking. In its sensory-visual part it works with images and comprises intelligence and spatial imagination. It carries out operations of integration of objects of the same or different nature. In the first case, it can visualise the different parts that form a whole; in the second case, it can construct complex systems of ideas. It likes metaphors, new combinations of ideas and solving problems. It swings well

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Learning how to identify birds by impression (1)  
Learning how to identify birds by impression (1)  
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