September 14, 2018 - February 17, 2019

It's Ornithology Season!

Ornithology Season Badge

Ornithology is the study of birds. Birds are covered with feathers, warm-blooded and lay hard-shelled eggs. There are around 10,000 species of birds worldwide. Birds are a group that many scientists consider a sub-group of reptiles. Many North Carolina birds migrate to warmer, southern climates in the winter. The state bird of North Carolina is the Northern cardinal.

Ornithology Fun Fact

Birds’ sizes can vary greatly. The enormous California condor has a wingspan of 9 ½ feet while the bee hummingbird measures less than 3”.

More Ornithology Tips

Click on the resources below to learn more about birds.

Ornithology Challenge

Create an account for the citizen science project, eBird. Submit an observation by using or download their mobile app. Send a screenshot of your completed observation record to [email protected].

Science Mentor

Andrew Laughlin, University of North Carolina, Asheville

Ornithology Science Mentor

Andrew Laughlin is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies department at University of North Carolina Asheville, where he teaches Ecology & Field Biology, Avian Ecology & Conservation, Wildlife Ecology & Management, Urban Ecology, and other courses. He is most interested in how animals, especially birds, respond to environmental change. He and his students began a re-survey of the bird communities of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to document how birds are responding to hemlock removal and climate change. He received a Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans where he studied Tree Swallow migration and winter roosting ecology.

Bonus Badges

Other Field Season Badges


February 18, 2018 - April 14, 2018

Botany Season Badge

April 15, 2018 - June 17, 2018

Herpetology Season Badge

June 18, 2018 - September 8, 2018

Entomology Season Badge