Field Animal Behavior

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• Eastern Forests: A field guide to birds, mammals, trees, flowers, and more. Peterson Field Guides.  
• Eastern Forests: A field guide to birds, mammals, trees, flowers, and more. Peterson Field Guides.  
Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”:
[ Peregrine Falcon webcam]
Natchaug Ornithological Society: (esp. “local hotspots”
[      Osprey webcam]
• Connecticut Ornithological Association:
• CT Audubon Society:
• CT Department of Environmental Protection:

Revision as of 14:15, 19 May 2013


EEB 3898: Field Animal Behavior

May Term, May 13th - 31st, 2013 MTWThF 1-4pm Torrey Life Sciences, Rm 181

Instructor: Dr. Kristiina Hurme

Office: TLS 379

Phone: 860-486-5434

Office hours: variable & flexible (call, email, drop by)

Course Objectives

➢ Learn how to observe animal behavior

➢ Notice animal behavior in our daily lives

➢ Learn how to take field notes

➢ Learn and apply basic field techniques, study design, and data analysis

➢ Develop a research project

➢ Improve collaboration skills

Course Materials


• Required

o Binoculars (available from us if you don’t have any)

o Field notepad/notebook

o Watch with countdown timer that beeps

o Closed-toe shoes (no sandals) or hiking boots, & proper outdoor clothing (poison ivy, weather)

• Recommended

o Field Guides (birds, mammals, insects, etc.) for New England or Eastern US

o Camera

o Insect repellent (ticks, mosquitoes)

o Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat

Tentative* schedule

Day Topic Day Topic Day Topic
M 13 Course introduction and timeline; What is behavior? M 20 Bicentennial Pond; Field notebooks (First Submission) M 27 MEMORIAL DAY - NO CLASS; make observations on your own!
T 14 Observational methods; cricket mating; Cemetery and W lot pond T 21 Individual project presentations; Paper submission (Introduction and Methods) T 28 Leave at noon- Coastal fiddler crabs / Field notebooks (Final Submission)
W 15 Field research techniques, hypotheses testing, study design, and data analysis; local observations W 22 MIDTERM EXAM; field observations after W 29 Project presentations and assisted work on the paper
Th 16 Leave at 10am - Trip to Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT; Ethograms Th 23 Individual project data collection I (Methods adjustment) Th 30 Review session in preparation for the final; PAPER SUBMISSION (FINAL)
F 17 Project guidelines discussion and selection (written ideas); Fenton River F 24 Individual project data collection II F 31 FINAL EXAM; Instructor evaluations

*: Schedule is subject to change pending weather conditions, or unforeseen observation and research opportunities.


Exams: May 22nd (MIDTERM) [50 points]; May 31st (FINAL) [50 points]

Project Paper: May 21st (Intro and Methods) [30 points]; May 30th (Final) [50 points]

Project Presentations: May 21st (Intro and Methods) [20 points]; May 29th (Final) [25 points]

Field Notebook Submissions: May 20th (First) [20 points]; May 28th (Final) [25 points]

iNaturalist submissions: 2+ observations/day = 30 obs. [15 points];

5 min observations: 10 x 2 points [20 points]

Ethograms: 3 x 5 points [15 points]

Field trips = Behavioral observations (5 points each): Dates will be weather dependent [30 points]

Total: [350 points]

Grading scale: A = 100-90%, B = 89-80%, C = 79-70%, D = 69-60%, F = 59-0%. Plus/minus system will be used for the final grade.

Additional References & Websites

• Alcock, J (2001). Animal Behavior - An Evolutionary Approach (7th ed.). Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers.

• Krebs, J. R. and N. B. Davies (1993). An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology (3rd ed.). Blackwell Scientific Publications.

• Martin, J. and P. Bateson (1993). Measuring Behaviour (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

• iNaturalist:

• Eastern Forests: A field guide to birds, mammals, trees, flowers, and more. Peterson Field Guides.

Peregrine Falcon webcam

• [ Osprey webcam]

Website design by Diego Sustaita; Modified by Kristiina Hurme

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