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

To earn your Ornithology Field Badge, do the following:

  1. Submit SIX observations of birds. You can submit a photo of the same bird species up to two times.
  2. Create an account for the citizen science project, eBird. Submit an observation by using eBird.org or download their mobile app. Send a screenshot of your completed observation record to [email protected].
  3. Attend the Ornithology Season Summit at The NC Arboretum on February 16. When you complete the above requirements you will receive an invitation to this special program. Activities will include meeting our Ornithology Science Mentor and participating in a bird banding and mist netting demonstration.

 

GROUP LEADERS ONLY:

If you are leading a group of ecoEXPLORERS, these children can also earn the Ornithology Field Badge by doing the following:

  1. Earn a total of 50 points for your group prior to March 1, including at least six pictures of birds. You can submit a photo of the same bird species up to two times.
  2. Create an account for the citizen science project, eBird. Submit an observation by using eBird.org or download their mobile app. Send a screenshot of your completed observation record to [email protected].
  3. Complete a Poster Project:
    1. Choose one bird you observed and create a poster showing how you identified the bird as well as where and when you found it.
    2. Visit https://www.inaturalist.org/observations. Type in the name of your bird in the “species” field, and your county in the “location” field. Include on your poster how many other times your bird was observed in your county. Also include how many birds have been found during the month you observed yours. Does your bird seem common this time of year, and if not, why?
    3. Include artwork, maps, and anything else you’d like. Then photograph your poster and send your image 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

Botany

February 18, 2018 - April 14, 2018

Botany Season Badge
Herpetology

April 15, 2018 - June 17, 2018

Herpetology Season Badge
Entomology

June 18, 2018 - September 8, 2018

Entomology Season Badge