Field Ornithology

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EEB 3898: Field Methods in Ornithology

Intensive Summer Session 1, June 8th - 26th, 2009 MTWThF

Instructor: Diego Sustaita

Office: Biol/Pharm 404

Phone: 860-486-0309

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


Announcements
22 June: Updates to schedule


Course Objectives

• Acquire bird identification skills

• Learn basic field research techniques, study design, and data analysis

• Develop basic understanding of local bird biology & ecology

• Tentative* schedule:

Day Topic Day Topic Day Topic
M 08 Course introduction; Bird identification [Sibley introduction] M 15 Exam 1; Point count activity M 22 Capture/banding activity [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/silkeyetal1999.pdf]]Silkeye et al. 1999]; Exam 2
T 09 Survey of local birds; Primer of avian ecology [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/macarthur1958.pdf]]MacArthur 1958] T 16 Territory mapping lec [Manuwal & Carey 1991 pgs. 14-17/Pdficon small.gifOrtega & Cappen 1999]; Territory mapping activity (I) T 23 Data analysis lab I: Density estimation [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/thomasetal2002.pdf]]Thomas et al. 2002]
W 10 Survey of local birds W 17 Radiotelemetry activity [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/chapt7.pdf]]Chapt. 7: Radio telemetry and bird movements] W 24 Habitat measurement lec [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/bibbyetal1985.pdf]]Bibby et al. 1985]; Habitat meas activity; Habitat analysis I: Habitat structure
Th 11 Census techniques: Study design & line transects lec [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/manuwal%26carey1991.pdf]]Manuwal & Carey 1991 pgs. 9-11; Pdficon small.gifAnderson et al. 1979]; Line transect activity Th 18 Radiotelemetry activity (cont'ed) Th 25 Survey of coastal birds [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/craig%26beal1992.pdf]]Craig & Beal 1992]
F 12 Point count/transect lec [Manuwal & Carey 1991 pgs. 11-14;Pdficon small.gifReynolds et al. 1980] F 19 Behavioral obs. lec [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/greenetal1996.pdf]]Green et al. 1996]; Behavioral obs activity; Territory mapping activity (II) F 26 Habitat analysis II: Species diversity & community analysis [[[File:Pdficon small.gif|link=http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/courses/fieldornithology/macarthur%26macarthur1961.pdf]]MacArthur & MacArthur 1961]; Final exam; Instructor evaluations

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

Course Materials

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• Required

o The Sibley Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America (from Co-op)

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

o Field notepad/notebook

• Recommended

o Sibley’s birding basics (Knopf, New York, 2002)

o Birding by Ear: Eastern and Central North America – Peterson Field Guides

o Old shoes or hiking boots, & proper outdoor clothing (poison ivy, weather)

o Insect repellent (ticks, mosquitoes)

o Sunscreen


Assignments

• Daily reading assignments

• Class exercise worksheets

• Directed project write-ups

• Weekly exams, covering:

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o Bird ID by sight & sound

o Basic biology (e.g., from observations; field guide; “All About Birds”)

o Material from lectures & readings

o Field technique scenario questions


Grading

• Midterm exams (50 points)

• Daily worksheets/field notes (150 points)

• Directed project assignments (50 points)

• Final exam (50 points)

• Total (300 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. Perfect attendance & participation are mandatory!


Additional References & Websites

• Bibby CJ, Burgess ND, Hill DA, Mustoe S, editors. 2000. Bird census techniques. San Diego, USA: Academic Press.

• Gill F. 2007. Ornithology. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.

• Stiling P. 1999. Ecology: theories and application. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

• Clark, G. A. 1999. Birds of Storrs, Connecticut and vicinity. 3rd Ed. Mansfield, CT: Natchaug Ornithological Society & Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust.

• SORA (Searchable Ornithological Research Archive): http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/index.php

• Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds

• Natchaug Ornithological Society: http://www.nosbird.org/ (esp. “local hotspots” http://www.nosbird.org/hotspots.html)

• Connecticut Ornithological Association: http://www.ctbirding.org/index.htm

• CT Audubon Society: http://www.ctaudubon.org/

• CT Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.ct.gov/dep/site/default.asp

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