Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
The Spoonbill, February 2001
Image 5
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
The Spoonbill, February 2001 - Image 5. February 2001. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 25, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/6173/show/6169.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 2001). The Spoonbill, February 2001 - Image 5. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/6173/show/6169

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Spoonbill, February 2001 - Image 5, February 2001, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 25, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/6173/show/6169.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title The Spoonbill, February 2001
Contributor (Local)
  • Haddican, Mary Pat
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date February 2001
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Ornithology
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • newsletters
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 2007-023, Box 13, Folder 5
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9886
Original Collection Outdoor Nature Club Records
Digital Collection Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections/
Use and Reproduction In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 5
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b013_f005_002_005.jpg
Transcript Beginning Birding BIRD IDENTIFICATION USING THE GISS TECHNIQUE By Don Richardson There is a term often used by birders to explain how they identified a bird. The term is "GISS," or "Jizz" as written by most folks. It is my understanding that the term derives from the British system for identifying aircraft in the Second World War. This system was called the General Identification Silhouette System (GISS) and was pronounced like "jazz" with an "i," or "jizz." For this article, I'll use the word "jizz," because that's how I see it most often. To me, jizz is the use of a characteristic that is subconsciously recognizable and that leads to an identification. Examples of this are common in everyday life. For example, imagine you have gone to the mall with your best friend. You have gone your separate ways, and now you want to locate and rejoin your friend. Climbing to a balcony at one end ofthe mall, you begin to search the crowd. Finally, you see someone several hundred yards away at the other end. Although this person is too far away to see facial characteristics, you still recognize your friend— from the walk, the way the arms move, or the way the head is carried. You have used the jizz to recognize your friend. As you become more experienced in birding, you develop a sense for more of these characteristics. You see a bird fly across the road in front of you and note that it has black, white and a lot of gray. You see it light on a fencepost in the corner of your eye as you speed by and say aloud, "Loggerhead shrike." "Why wasn't that a mockingbird," your friend asks. "It's the jizz," you reply. But what did you see that told you this was a loggerhead shrike? Watch a loggerhead shrike fly to and land on a perch, then watch a mockingbird do the same thing. Usually, you will see the loggerhead shrike fly toward the perch at an elevation lower than the perch. When close, it glides up to the spot and plops itself onto it. The mockingbird, on the other hand, will approach from above the perch, make a parachute out of its body, tail and wings, and float down to its landing. When you have seen enough loggerhead shrikes and mockingbirds land, you will begin to recognize these movements, just as you recognized your friend at the mall. Woodpeckers have a characteristic flight which is often called a "swooping" pattern. In flight, they rise to a peak, glide downward, and flap and glide to a new peak. If you were to trace the pattern on paper, it would look like the crests and troughs of waves in the ocean. A quick glimpse of this in the wild might draw the comment, "I don't know what it was, but I think it was a woodpecker"— the woodpecker's jizz. A tiny brown bird flies from high up on the trunk of a tree in the woods. It lands near the bottom of a nearby tree and begins to move in spiral fashion upward, feeding on insects as it goes. As it gets quite high, it leaves that tree, flies to the bottom of another and begins again. Even though you are too far to see any brown and white patterns or the shape of its little curved bill, you know this is a brown creeper. Its feeding behavior gives it away. Orange-crowned warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets are often found near each other, but you know that the bird that keeps flipping its wings is the kinglet. The brown thrasher and the hermit thrush both like to scratch in the leaves as they feed, have warm brown in the tail, and spots or streaks on the front. But the pudgier build and more vertical posture quickly tells you that this is the thrush. There are many aspects of behavior and appearance not mentioned or only briefly mentioned in field guides that are included in the tag of jizz. Having said all that, I would rather not use the word. If you think about it, all these jizz things are describable characteristics. In my opinion, if you can identify a bird and can verbalize how you identified it, you have done a better job than if you say, "I don't know what I saw that makes it a goldfinch, but there's something about it and I know it's a goldfinch." As you watch birds, certainly do try to identify them using the field marks you have read about in field guides. Also, though, watch their flight, how they move, and how they stand. As you write these observations in your field notes or journal, you'll build an ever more helpful tool kit for identifying birds. The tool kit will be filled with well described characteristics and not just a bunch of jizz jazz. Don is a regular writer and lecturer about birds and teaches a beginning birding field course in conjunction with the Houston Audubon Society. Contact him at (281)997-0485 or cdplace@concentric.net.