Introduction to Ornithology
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Charles Bishop
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose and aim of this module is to provide a detailed introduction to the the diversity, evolutionary history, ecology, behaviour and adaptive specializations of birds. The content will include the key processes that underpin individual and lifetime reproductive success is the class Aves, such as reproductive strategies, adaptations for flight and strategies and mechanisms of migration.
This module will cover the main ancestral and extant groups of birds and their intra- and inter-ordinal evolutionary relationships. An overview of the range of morphological and physiologial specialisations will be provided. The role of flight and its subsequent loss in key groups will be discussed, along with effects of environmental variables on the ecology, behaviour and migration of birds more generally. Specific consideration will be given to movement ecology and the development and use of the technologies available to study avian biology in the field. The biology of sexual display and adornments, acoustic communication and mate selection will be presented. The range of sensory systems in birds will be introduced, and how they are shaped by their ecology and behaviour will be discussed.
70%+: The student should demonstrate comprehensive factual knowledge, critical understanding of theory, evidence of extra reading of primary literature and the ability to integrate this extra knowledge in a relevant manner.
60-69% - The student should be able to express a thorough factual knowledge of much of the core material (facts and concepts) presented in the module. They should have a competent and detailed ability to critically evaluate the principles and processes by which birds are adapted to their environment, using specific examples. Some evidence of further reading and ability to integrate material from the full range of the lecture content.
C- to C+
50-59% - The student should demonstrate a reasonable factual knowledge of some of the core material (facts and concepts) presented in the module. They should have a reasonable ability to evaluate the processes governing how birds are adapted to their environment.
40-49% - The students should be able to express a basic factual knowledge of at least some part of the core material (facts and concepts) presented in the module. They should be able to appreciate how the features and adaptations of birds enhance their survival and lifetime reproductive success in a specific environment. Reports should demonstrate a basic ability to introduce the subject, present methods, analyse and present results, discuss the implications of the main research findings. Test and exam answers should demonstrate a basic ability to present lecture material and to outline key concepts.
Exhibit an ability to analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically and write formal reports or manuscripts.
Evaluate the evolutionary and ecological significance of birds, and describe major evolutionary trends within each group.
Engage with the essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with the adaptations shown by birds to their environments.
Develop practical, interpersonal and teamwork skills by working jointly with other students to undertake a short practical project.
Develop an understanding of the range of practical skills used to study birds in the laboratory and the field.
Acquire a broad understanding of threats and conservation issues relating to birds.
|End of module exam||50.00|
|Adaptive morphology of birds||25.00|
|Analysis of movement in birds||25.00|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
|Practical classes and workshops||
Two computer practicals, analysing data using R. Practical 1 (adaptive morphology) is a 2 hour practical, and practical 2 (GPS movement analysis) takes 3 hours. Each practical is followed by a 2 hour "drop in" session for students to get help with anything they did not complete during the main practicals and to ask questions about their write up.
One hour lectures cover subjects such as phylogenetic diversity, major ecological and behavioural trends, contribution of birds ot the development of socio-biology theory, comparative flight biology, migration, reproductive biology and sexual selection, field and survey techniques, conservation and population management. One hour will be used to introduce the module at the start, and one hour will be used for exam preparation and module review at the end. Four hours of lectures relating to the two practicals, one before and one after each practical.
Time for searching for and reading published litterature, writing up notes from lectures, self guided bird walks, and any additional data analysis and writing asociated with the the two practical reports.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- PS1 Communication skills, covering both written and oral communication with a variety of audiences
- PS2 Skills in the employment of common conventions and standards in scientific writing, data presentation, and referencing literature
- PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
- PS4 Numeracy and mathematical skills, including handling data, algebra, functions, trigonometry, calculus, vectors and complex numbers, alongside error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, systematic use of scientific units and different types of data presentation
- PS5 Information location and retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, and the ability to assess the quality of information accessed
- PS7 Basic interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in teamworking
- PS15 The ability to think critically in the context of data analysis and experimental design
- SK9 Read and engage with scientific literature
- SK10. Development of project-specific experimental skills.
- SK11. Reading and engaging with scientific literature.
- SK16. Recording of data and their critical analysis.
- SK18. Advanced studies in areas of specialism, such as the use ofpeer-reviewed scientific literature.
- Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
- Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
- Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
- Prepare effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
- Undertake field and/or laboratory studies to ensure competence in basic experimental and/or fieldwork skills.
- Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
- Engagement with current subject developments and their application.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
- Demonstrate the independence and skills required for continuing professional development
Resource implications for students
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/bsx-2041.html
Handbook of Bird Biology (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) Essential Ornithology (Graham Scott), Introduction to Behavioural Ecology (Davies et al.), Ornithology (Gill), Bird Ecology and Conservation: A handbook of techniques (Sutherland et al.), Collins Bird Guide (Lars Svensson), Sensory Ecology of Birds (Graham Martin)
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C330: BSc Zoology with Ornithology year 2 (BSC/ZR)
- C334: MZool Zoology with Ornithology year 2 (MZOOL/ZR)
Optional in courses:
- C183: BSC Appl.Terrestrial & Marine Ec 4 year 2 (BSC/APTME)
- C180: BSc Appl. Terrestrial &Marine Ec year 2 (BSC/ATME)
- C184: BSc App Terrestrial & Marine Ecology with Intl Experience year 2 (BSC/ATMEIE)
- C100: BSC Biology year 2 (BSC/B)
- C10F: BSc Biology year 2 (BSC/BF)
- C511: BSc Biology with Biotechnology year 2 (BSC/BIOT)
- C102: BSc Biology (with International Experience) year 3 (BSC/BITE)
- D447: BSC Environmental Conservation year 2 (BSC/ECON)
- D448: BSC Environmental Conservation year 2 (BSC/ECON4)
- D451: BSc Environmental Conservation (International Experience) year 2 (BSC/ENIE)
- C328: BSc Wildlife Conservation year 2 (BSC/WLC)
- C332: BSc Wildlife Conservation with Place Yr year 2 (BSC/WLCP)
- C300: BSC Zoology year 2 (BSC/Z)
- C305: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZABIE)
- C3L2: BSC Zoology with Conservation year 2 (BSC/ZC)
- C319: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies year 2 (BSC/ZCC)
- C327: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies w International Exp year 2 (BSC/ZCCIE)
- C3L3: BSc Zoology with Conservation with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZCIE)
- C3L4: BSc Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 2 (BSC/ZCP)
- C30F: BSc Zoology year 2 (BSC/ZF)
- C304: BSC Zoology with Herpetology year 2 (BSC/ZH)
- C307: BSc Zoology with Herpetology (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/ZHIE)
- C324: BSc Zoology with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZIE)
- C3C1: BSc Zoology with Marine Zoology (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZMB)
- C350: BSC Zoology with Marine Zoology year 2 (BSC/ZMZ)
- C329: BSc Zoology with Primatology year 2 (BSC/ZP)
- C32P: Zoology with Primatology with Placement Year year 2 (BSC/ZPP)
- C3D3: BSC Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 2 (BSC/ZWAB)
- C3DP: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour with Placement Year year 2 (BSC/ZWABP)
- C101: MBiol Master of Biology year 2 (MBIOL/BIO)
- C510: MBiol Biology with Biotechnology year 2 (MBIOL/BIOT)
- C302: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 2 (MZOOL/AB)
- C30P: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with Placement Year year 2 (MZOOL/ABP)
- CD34: MZool Zoology with Conservation year 2 (MZOOL/CONS)
- CD3P: MZool Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 2 (MZOOL/CONSP)
- C303: MZool Zoology with Herpetology year 2 (MZOOL/HERP)
- C325: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with International Exp year 3 (MZOOL/ZAIE)
- C321: MZool Zoology with Climate Change year 2 (MZOOL/ZCC)
- C326: MZool Zoology with Herpetology with International Experience year 3 (MZOOL/ZHIE)
- C353: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology year 2 (MZOOL/ZMZ)
- C37P: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology with Placement Year year 2 (MZOOL/ZMZP)
- C306: MZool Zoology (with International Experience) year 3 (MZOOL/ZOIE)
- C301: MZool Master of Zoology year 2 (MZOOL/ZOO)
- C333: MZool Zoology with Primatology year 2 (MZOOL/ZP)