Related topics: birds

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 ...

Most migratory birds rely on a greening world, study finds

A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology confirms that most birds—but not all—synchronize their migratory movements with seasonal changes in vegetation greenness. This is the first study of its kind to cover the ...

Google searches reveal popular bird species

Cross-referencing a decade of Google searches and citizen science observations, researchers have determined which of 621 North American bird species are currently the most popular and which characteristics of species drive ...

Among birds-of-paradise, good looks are not enough to win a mate

Male birds-of-paradise are notorious for their wildly extravagant feather ornaments, complex calls, and shape-shifting dance moves—all evolved to attract a mate. New research published in the open-access journal PLOS Biology ...

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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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