Learn Ornithology!

Ornithology, the study of Birds

Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Etymologically, the word "ornithology" derives from the ancient Greek ὄρνις ornis ("bird") and λόγος logos ("rationale" or "explanation"). Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds. Most marked among these is the extent of studies undertaken by amateurs working within the parameters of strict scientific methodology.

The science of ornithology has a long history and studies on birds have helped develop several key concepts in evolution, behaviour and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography and conservation. While early ornithology was principally concerned with descriptions and distributions of species, ornithologists today seek answers to very specific questions, often using birds as models to test hypotheses or predictions based on theories. Most modern biological theories apply across taxonomic groups and the number of professional scientists who identify themselves as "ornithologists" has therefore declined. A wide range of tools and techniques are used in ornithology, both inside the laboratory and out in the field, and innovations are constantly made.

How to Birdwatch

Are you a frustrated amateur ornithologist because you can't identify all the birds at your feeder, in the woods, along the roadside, or at the beach? Grab your hiking gear and read on for some quick tips for beginning bird watching.

  • Be sure you have a decent pair of binoculars and have adjusted and practiced using them.
  • Always locate a bird first with your naked eye. The field of view through binoculars is much narrower, making it harder to search.
  • Consider colours a bonus. Except under the best of conditions, it is hard to see feather colors accurately. Light reflection and shadows often distort, dull, or exaggerate colors. Consider other factors first. Of course, there are species for which accurate color determination is essential for accurate identification.
  • Size is helpful, but conditions can be misleading. A bird soaring overhead or flying by may seem much larger or smaller than reality. A reference object is helpful – a tree, fence post, telephone pole, etc.
  • Observe the shape or profile of the bird. A long-bill, long legs, or tufted head immediately eliminates many possibilities.
  • Habitat is always a useful consideration. In the midst of a coniferous forest you expect to see a different set of birds (avifauna) than you would on an ocean shore or in a city park.
  • Note the behavior. Wading in shallow water, climbing a tree trunk, swimming, diving through the air, emerging from a mud nest, or sitting on a fence post, all narrow the choices down considerably.
  • Songs and calls are excellent identification mechanisms and sometimes the only way to distinguish them in the field by their calls; and it is not uncommon to hear birds but not be able to find them. This takes a lot more practice than learning visual characters. I find it easiest to learn songs and calls if I am able to watch the bird singing or calling.
  • Use a good field guide as they identify characteristics (field marks) most helpful to identification.
  • Finally, my most important recommendation for the beginning birdwatcher: go out in the field with those folks who know the birds. If you don't have a friend who does, there is most likely a local society:   Ours, is the Kent Ornithological Society

Studying Ornithology

Ornithology course online. Explore the wonderful world of birds! Learn with us what is a bird, how they evolved, what adaptations they developed to be able to colonize air, land and water so successfully! This course is designed for people working or wishing to work with birds and animals, life scientists and environmental researchers and consultants, amateur bird watchers, or anyone working with birds.         Why not go one step further and take our Ornithology Course Online, and really get to know what you're looking at!

LEAVE A REPLY

BLOG CATEGORIES

MOST POPULAR

ADL Success Stories – Dairy Cattle Farming with Annabella Baker

Education opens doors to success windows of opportunity and in at least one case, gates to new possibilities. Such is the case with ADL success story Annabella Baker.  Originally from Italy, but now living in the UK, Annabella faced a tragedy all too familiar to many when she lost her airline job during the Covid

Read More »

Horticulture – Learn the Basics: Three Problems for New Gardeners

Gardens are hard work.  Behind every immaculate lawn and carefully tended flowerbed is a never-ending struggle between nature and gardener. Of course simply leaving the garden to its own devices isn’t really an option; Untended, plants will grow freely for the whole of spring and summer and even into autumn. Worse yet, an uncared for

Read More »

Henry Hoover’s Broken Plug

Some stories of educational achievement soar into the heavens.  Of individuals who through hard work and toil overcame the challenges in their life to achieve. Certainly, at ADL we’ve seen and helped many individuals achieve their dreams through completing a course which helped them get a place at university or begin a new career. This,

Read More »

King Charles and the Grey Goo

If you’ve been in the UK over the past weekend you might have noticed you had a day off on Monday (or looked on enviously as other people had a day off).  The coronation of a new monarch in Charles the Third means a new era. One that the Monarch is especially keen does not

Read More »

Could You Be a Personal Trainer?

If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives.  By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their

Read More »

SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Scroll to Top

REQUEST A CALLBACK

To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.

CONTACT US

required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.