10 December 2009

Table of Contents

This ornithology course originated from lecture notes that I developed over the years. I have retired from teaching and see little reason to have this resouce, such as it is, gather dust in some drawer. In this blog format, I offer it to you as a free, non-credit, self-study exercise.  As such, you many expect little or no interaction from me (although I will be glad to hear about possible editorial improvements).
  • Introduction
  • What is a Bird?
  • Ornithology (Ornithology and birding)
  • Flight (Advantanges and adaptations for flight)
  • Origin and Evolution of Birds (The evolution of flight)
  • Taxonomy and Systematics (Species and evolution)
  • Ethology (Behavior, innate vs. learning, personal behaviors)
  • Social Behavior (Communication, Territory, Flocking, Courtship and Breeding, Nesting, Incubating, and more)
  • Migration (The whys and hows of migration, What about birds that don't migrate?)
  • Feathers (Kinds, molt, color)
  • Ecology (Extinction, Geographical Ecology, Population Ecology)
  • History of Ornithology (Very brief, mostly American)
  • Concluding Remarks (You could well start here--feeding birds, binoculars, birding organizations)
Barred Owl


  1. Mr. Tallman, Thank you for going to all the work of putting this together for people like me who have always wanted to take an ornithology class but never had the time or the money to do so. tmiller

  2. thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩ ........................................

  3. How interesting! I saw a barred owl on my walk a few weeks ago, very bold and unconcerned about the many people on the trail under its perching branch. I was able to stand under it and take as many pictures as I wished. Today at the Audobon I saw its doppleganger, a spotted owl. Now that I have seen one of each, I can see a resemblance, but they are very distinct! The spotted owl had a much less regular pattern of markings and more white feathers in its back plumes. I came across this page because I was searching for pine siskins. There was one walking around under the feeder today, and I took her to the bird center. I hope she is ok......
    Thank you for sharing your avid love of birds,

  4. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

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  5. You can ask me questions through this blog if anything is unclear.

  6. Very Much Thankxxx for ur, valuable Data.....

  7. thank you for all the hard work. this is very interesting and useful.
    --chhanda bewtra