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birding by impression

Birding is an extremely rewarding and fun hobby, but some situations can be frustrating or bird identifications unsuccessful because of a variety of challenging viewing conditions.  By using the “birding by impression” technique, observers will develop an efficient mental identification process using left- and right-brain skills.


Birding by Impression (BBI) begins with a conscious assessment of a bird’s unchanging physical characteristics, including general size, body shape, structural features (bill, legs, neck, and wings), and behavior. After evaluating bird’s physical profile and movements, which often takes only a short time, the observer can consider traditional identification details to fine-tune the identification.


Once a bird is identified, the “knowing” aspect comes into play.  Identifying a bird is just one part of the birdwatching experience, but learning more about the bird’s lifestyle and behavior allows you to truly enjoy the lives of these fascinating creatures.  


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Released April 2015

While verification does not lie at the heart of birdwatching, identifying birds accurately is central to our avocation, and being able to identify birds in the field under less than ideal conditions increases the scope and range of a birder's skill.  The BBI discipline also helps birders quickly assess and sort new and uncommon species from among familiar ones.


~ Pete Dunne, Foreward to Birding By Impression

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