2014 SUMMER CITIZENS SYllabus Course: Identification and

advertisement
2014 SUMMER CITIZENS SYLLABUS
Course:
Identification and Ecology of Utah Birds
Instructor:
Frank Howe, NR 146, 797-8523, [email protected]
Time, place:
Lecture: M-F 8:50 - 10:15 June 9 - 13; ENGR 101
Optional Sat field trip (TBD)
Learning objectives – The students will:
1) Develop skills in vocal, visual and behavioral identification of birds.
2) Develop an understanding of the concepts of avian ecology including the
relationship of birds to natural and man-made habitats.
3) Develop a knowledge of bird population and habitat conservation.
Readings and Books:
I will provide handouts of basic bird identification and ecology.
While not required, a field guide would be very useful. I recommend the following
field guides which all have drawings as opposed to photographs (which rarely
show all field marks):
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (covers Eastern
and Western Species, good artwork, good descriptions, OK maps);
The Sibley Guide to Birds (for the serious birder, covers Eastern and Western, all
plumage variations, good artwork, good maps, OK descriptions)
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America (only Western spp, fair
artwork, best descriptions and maps but not all on the same page).
Course scope and format:
We will learn to identify birds using various characteristics including field marks
(plumage coloration and patterns, bill shape, etc.), sounds (songs, calls, and
non-vocal sounds), and behavior (feeding, flight, nesting, etc.). In addition, we'll
investigate the ecological connections among birds and their habitats. We'll
cover a wide range of bird families found in a variety of typical western habitats
from low elevation grasslands to high mountain forests. Information will be
delivered through a combination of classroom presentations and field
experiences. We will spend portions of our lecture time developing our field skills
on campus. Also, we will discuss an optional Saturday morning field trip to
Cache Valley's best birding areas (carpooling and transportation would be on
your own and binoculars would be extremely helpful).
Schedule: We will spend some time each day (most of the time on a few days)
developing our identification skills. This will be interspersed with discussions on
basic avian ecology including habitat associations, life history characteristics,
mating systems, and the structure of avian populations and communities.
Day
Mon
Date
Topics
Introduction to Avian
9-Jun Identification
Tu
10-Jun More Avian Identification
Wed
11-Jun Field Identification
Th
12-Jun Bird habitats and niches
Fri
13-Jun Principles of Avian Ecology I
Sat
14-Jun Optional Field Trip
Description
Bird Groups
General ID skills - size and shape, field
marks; Bird Groups/Families
waterfowl,
waterbirds
shorebirds,
woodpeckers,
owls
Hawks,
passerines
upland game
birds
Behavior, range, and sounds
On-campus birding excursion; using
binoculars; Field ID hints and tips
habitat associations, the niche
concept
Ecological Principles used to
understand and manage birds
Practicing your ID skills in Cache
Valley's best birding spots
passerines
most of the
above
Download