Related topics: birds

Dashboard reveals migration paths of billions of birds

The BirdCast program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is exploring bird migration—one of the greatest, mostly unseen spectacles of nature—with its new Migration Dashboard, which reveals bird movements in localized detail ...

Light pollution increasing year-round for some migrating birds

Nighttime light pollution levels are increasing the most in the southeastern United States, Mexico, and Central America—findings based on year-round data collected over the last two decades in the Western Hemisphere. This ...

Study identifies patterns in bird-plane collisions

Worldwide, the cost of bird collisions with planes has been estimated at $1.2 billion per year. But information on bird movements throughout the year can help avoid damage to aircraft and risk to passengers. Scientists from ...

eBird data used to shape eagle management

Millions of people donate billions of dollars' worth of their time to citizen-science projects each year. While these efforts have broadened our understanding of everything from birds to bees to bracken ferns, rarely has ...

Bearded seals are loud—but not loud enough

During mating season, male bearded seals make loud calls to attract a mate. How loud? Well, even their "quiet" call can still be as ear-rattling as a chainsaw.

Study examines attitudes toward non-native birds

A new study from scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines public attitudes toward non-native bird species and whether people are willing to manage them to protect native cavity-nesting birds, such as Eastern ...

Less light, more trees assist migrating birds

As migratory birds travel back and forth between their breeding and wintering grounds twice each year, they face many hazards. For species that migrate during the night, one of those dangers is the disorienting influence ...

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Ornithology

Ornithology (from Greek: ὄρνις, ὄρνιθος, ornis, ornithos, "bird"; and λόγος, logos, "rationale" or "explanation") is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. 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 and innovations are constantly made.

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