3 credit hours
|Instructor: Gary Ritchison
Office: Moore 237
Office phone: 622-1541
Text: Ornithology, 3rd edition
by Frank B. Gill
Lab Manual: Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure & Function
by Noble S. Proctor & Patrick J. Lynch
Field Guide: The Sibley Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America by David Allen Sibley is available at the bookstore (but other guides can also be used).
I - Introduction to Birds
II - Bird Flight I
VIII - Circulatory System
IX - Respiratory System
|XI - Nervous
System: Brain & Senses I
XIII - Vocal Communication
XV - Mating Systems
XVII - Avian Reproduction II: Nests
XIX - Parental Care
Course objectives: To learn the basic principles of ornithology & to learn how to identify most of the birds found in Kentucky & the eastern United States
1) Exams and quizzes. There will be four 75-point lecture exams, three lab exams worth a total of 225 pts, and several lab quizzes worth a total of 120 pts. Lecture exams will be based on lecture material, material from the text, and, possibly, material from student lectures. Review questions, based on material from lecture and in the text, are provided for each exam - Text questions: Exam 1, Exam 2, Exam 3, & Exam 4; Lecture questions: Exam 1, Exam 2, Exam 3, & Exam 4. Tentative dates for the lecture exams, lab exams, and three quizzes are provided below. There will be additional quizzes on dates to be determined by the instructor; these dates may or may not be provided to students prior to the quizzes..
2) Survey of birds. Beginning on February 2, we'll begin an overview of all the birds that you must be able to identify for lab quizzes and exams (http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/birdlist.html). As part of this process, we'll be reviewing each species. Specifically, for each species, information will be provided concerning their range, migratory status (resident, winter visitor, or just present during the breeding season in Kentucky), habitats used, interesting aspects of their biology, other interesting aspects of behavior and/or ecology, and, of course, how to identify them in the field (important field marks and behaviors useful for identification).
3) Lecture. Each undergraduate student will present a 30-40-minute lecture (power point presentation) on an ornithology-related topic that I will not be covering (or at least covering in detail) in lecture. Graduate students will give two presentations on two different topics. I will provide a list of topics (specifically, a list of questions) from which students will choose their lecture topic. Lectures will be worth 50 points and will be graded based on the quality of the presentation and accuracy of information provided (the evaluation sheet is available at http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/lecture_evaluation.html). For each lecture, students should introduce the question being addressed, explain its significance or importance, and, using the relevant (primary) literature, provide hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations or provide data from recent papers than provided possible answers. Hypotheses/explanations should always be placed in an evolutionary context (e.g., why would natural selection favor such behavior?). Each presenter will also provide me with a copy of their presentation (sent to me as an e-mail attachment) that I will, in turn, send to everyone in class. Some lecture exam questions may be based on material presented in these presentations. Assigned topics and presentation dates will be provided at: http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/lecture-topics.htm.
4) Bird Vocalizations (50 pts). Students will be required to learn the vocalizations/songs of
several species of birds. The list of species and the
vocalizations you'll need to know are available on the 'Bird
Vocalizations' page. Students will be tested on their knowledge of
these vocalizations in lab tests (April 28 and May 5).
Grading: There will be a possible total of 745 pts for undergraduate students and 795 pts for graduate students.
Attendance policy: Attendance is required only on exam & quiz days.
Tentative Lecture Schedule:
|January 19, 21, 26||Introduction; Flight||Pp. xxi-xxvii; Ch.
1,2, & 3
(+ lab manual pp. 1 - 6, 13 -21)
|Jan. 28; Feb. 2, 4, 9, 11||Flight & other types of locomotion||
|Feb. 16||EXAM 1|
|Feb. 18, 23, 25||Digestion: Food & Feeding Habits||Ch. 6|
|March 1, 3, 8, 10||Physiology: Circulatory System & Respiration||Ch. 6|
|March 15, 17||SPRING BREAK|
|March 22||Physiology: Thermoregulation||Ch. 6|
|March 24||EXAM 2*|
|March 29, 31; April 5||Brain & Senses||
|April 7, 12||Vocal communication||Ch. 8|
|April 14, 19||Social Behavior: Territoriality & coloniality||Ch. 11|
|April 21||EXAM 3**|
|April 26, 28||Mating Systems||Ch. 12 & 13
|May 3, 5||Reproduction & Parental care||Ch. 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17|
|May 12 (8:00 - 10:00)||EXAM 4|
*Although not covered in
you're also responsible for material in Chapter
10 (Migration) for Exam 2.
**Although not covered in lecture, you're also responsible for material in Chapter 10 (Navigation) for Exam 3.
Tentative Lab Schedule:
|Date||Subject||Lab Manual Pages|
|January 19||External morphology & topography||
Pp. 47 - 65
|January 21||Feathers & feather tracts & The Life of Birds: To Fly or Not to Fly||Pp. 81 - 115|
|January 26, 28||External structural characteristics & The Life of Birds: The Mastery of Flight||Pp. 66 - 79|
+ ID: Anseriformes
|ONLINE FIELD GUIDE (eNature.com) - songs & calls of more than 550 birds & also check Birds of the World, a supplement to Gill's text; For all ID labs, see the Bird ID List|
|February 4||LAB EXAM 1 (75 pts)|
|February 9||ID: Galliformes and Gaviiformes||The Animal Diversity Web is a good source of information|
|February 11||Skeleton||Ch. 5|
|February 16, 18||Musculature & internal anatomy + some bird ID||Ch. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11|
|February 23||ID QUIZ 1 (Anseriformes, Galliformes, and Gaviiformes) + ID: Podicipediformes, Suliformes & Pelicaniformes + Review for Lab Exam 2|
|February 25||LAB EXAM 2 (no bird ID on Lab Exam 2, just skeleton, musculature, and internal anatomy) (75 pts)|
|March 1, 3, 8, 10||ID: Accipitriformes, Falconiformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, & Columbiformes|
|March 15, 17||SPRING BREAK|
|March 22||ID QUIZ 2 (Anseriformes through Gruiformes) + Elmwood's winter birds (short field trip)|
|March 24||Learning bird vocalizations + Signals and Songs (video)|
|March 29, 31||ID: Cuculiformes, Strigiformes, Caprimulgiformes, and Apodiformes|
|April 5||ID QUIZ 3 (must also know Orders) & ID: Coraciiformes & Piciformes|
|April 7||ID: Passeriformes + possibly birding at Elmwood (weather permitting)|
|April 12||ID QUIZ 4 (must also know Families & sub-families) & ID: Passeriformes|
|April 14, 19, 21||ID: Passeriformes|
|April 26||Field ID: South Campus|
|April 28||VOCALIZATION EXAM 1 (20 pts [10 calls or songs]) + ID QUIZ 5|
|May 3||FIELD QUIZ (20 pts) + Campus/Elmwood 2-Hour Field ID for Bonus points (>35 species = 15 pts, 30 - 35 species = 12 pts, 25- 29 species = 9 pts, 20-24 species = 6 pts, 15 - 19 species = 3 pts, & <15 species = 0 pts)|
|May 5||VOCALIZATION EXAM 2 (30 pts [15 calls or songs]) + ID: Passeriformes|
|May 10 (8 - 10 a.m.)||LAB EXAM 3 - ID FINAL (75 pts)|
Back to Gary Ritchison's homepage