Ornithology BEN102

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Description

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. Course Structure There are 9 lessons in this course:
1. Classification and Introduction to Bird watching.

  • Nature and scope of ornithology (over 9,000 species)
  • Place of Birds in Nature
  • Bird Classification (Aves, Ratitae, Carinate)
  • Use of common names and scientific names
  • Fossil or Extinct Birds
  • Classes and Sub Cla…

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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. Course Structure There are 9 lessons in this course:
1. Classification and Introduction to Bird watching.

  • Nature and scope of ornithology (over 9,000 species)
  • Place of Birds in Nature
  • Bird Classification (Aves, Ratitae, Carinate)
  • Use of common names and scientific names
  • Fossil or Extinct Birds
  • Classes and Sub Classes
  • Comparing characteristics of different Super orders
  • Comparing characteristics of all major bird Families
  • Resources for further information
  • Bird Watching equipment

2. The Biology of Birds.

  • Anatomical features
  • Skeleton
  • Feathers
  • Feather Colour
  • Wings
  • Wing Types (elliptical, high speed, long soaring, high lift)
  • Legs and Feet
  • Beaks and Bills
  • Internal Structure
  • Respiration
  • Excretion
  • Digestion
  • Circulation
  • Senses
  • Avian Behaviours (Flight, Diving, Reproduction, Courtship, Bonding, Territoriality, Nesting)
  • Formation of Eggs and Hatching
  • Feeding
  • Vocalisations
  • Migration
  • Habitats

3. Common and Widespread Land Birds.

  • Eagles and Relatives; Carthatidae (New World vultures, condors)
  • Pandionidae (osprey)
  • Accipitridae (hawks, eagles, kites)
  • Sagittariidae (secretary bird)
  • Falconidae (falcons, caracaras)
  • Crows and their Relatives
  • Butcher birds, Currawongs and related birds
  • Pigeons (structure, feeding, breeding, types)
  • Doves
  • The Dodo
  • Cuckoos
  • Pest and Introduced Birds (for man countries); Indian Mynah, Sparrow, Thrush, Starling, etc

4. Giant Birds and Long Legged Birds.

  • Ratitites; Ostrich, Emu, Moa, Rhea, Cassowary, Kiwi, South American Tinamous, extinct giant Elephant bird and Dodo
  • Herons, Storks and relatives

5. Seabirds and Water birds.

  • Anseriformes; ducks, geese, swans etc
  • Gruiformes; cranes, coots, mud hens, rails
  • Charadriiformes; sandpipers, snipes, curlews, plovers, dotterels, etc
  • Gaviiformes; divers
  • Gulls, Skuas, Orks, Puffins, Terns
  • Tube Nosed Birds
  • Albatrosses
  • Petrels, Storm Petrels and Diving Petrels
  • Pelicans and Relatives
  • Gannets
  • Cormorants
  • Boobies, Frigate Birds, Tropic Birds
  • Penguins

6. Hunters -Birds of Prey, Owls, and Kingfishers.

  • Eagles
  • Eagle species
  • Hawks
  • Kites
  • Osprey
  • Falcons
  • Vultures
  • Owls
  • Breeding behaviours of birds of prey
  • Kingfishers

7. Passeriformes.

  • Scope of songbirds or perching birds.
  • Features common to Passeriformes
  • Varieties of Passeriformes (Primitive and Advanced)
  • Muscicapidae; thrush
  • Robins
  • Flycatchers, Larks, Pippits, Wingtails
  • Swallows and Martins; physical characteristics, breeding and nesting
  • Fringilllidae; finches

8. Other Birds.

  • Parrots; structure, feeding, breeding, species
  • Honeyeaters, Swifts
  • Galliformes; chicken.
  • Other Orders

9. Attracting, Feeding and Keeping Birds.

  • How plants benefit birds
  • Plants that attract birds
  • Feeding Birds
  • Bird Care; parasites, catching and handling, caring for a sick bird
  • Common Ailments


Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school\'s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims
  • Discuss the study of birds, including bird taxonomy
  • Describe anatomical and physical characteristics of birds.
  • Discuss a range of different common and widespread land birds.
  • Discuss a range of different flightless and long legged birds including Ratites and Ciconiiformes.
  • Discuss and describe a range of water birds and sea birds.
  • Discuss and describe a range of hunting birds.
  • Discuss and describe a range of Passeriformes.
  • Discuss and describe a range of parrots and other birds..
  • Explain domestication of birds and the methodology and implications of attracting and feeding wild birds.
What You Will Do
  • Contact a Birdwatching Club or organisation in your own country, or region of the world, and find out what services and information they offer. You may locate groups on the internet, or listed under clubs and organisations in the Yellow Pages section of your phone book. You might contact them on the phone, or by email, by letter; or by attending a meeting.
  • Write a brief history of the evolution of birds mentioning of species that have become extinct and give reasons as to why you think this occurred.
  • Research and discuss the breeding cycle of one particular bird species (of your own choosing), then identify any traits or behavioural patterns that are unique to this species
  • Select different birds from groups studied, and research each different bird using any resources you have available to you, such as textbooks, the internet, libraries, etc. Write a paragraph describing each of the six birds you selected, giving a detailed description of their external appearance, together with details of their distribution, structure, feeding habits and breeding. If possible, focus on any birds from each group that inhabit or regularly migrate to your region.
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