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Study & Bird Behaviour

Zoographical Zones

This section has links to a number of websites concerned generally with the study of birds and, in particular their behaviour. There are tips on how to note your observations as well as pointers to larger on-line reference resources. For a good starting point I recommend ornithology.com.

There are too, some sites devoted to study in the sense of offering ornithology for full-time students as well as a number of courses for amateur ornithologists; such courses are listed on a separate page.

There are, of course, many overlaps with this section and the sections on conservation, taxonomy etc.

Useful Reading

A Concise History of Ornithology

by Michael Walters

ISBN: 1873403976

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Behaviour of European & North American Birds

A Birder's Guide to Behaviour of European & North American Birds by G?bor Michl illustrated by Szabolcs K?kay Gavia Science

ISBN: 9632101723

Buy this book from NHBS.com

How to be a Bad Birdwatcher

by Simon Barnes Short Books, London 2004

ISBN: 190409595X

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Working Group on International Waderbird and Wetland Research


The Working Group on International Waderbird and Wetland Research (WIWO) was established in 1983, in order to create a well-defined and accessible intermediary between financing organisations and governmental bodies on the one hand, and volunteer ornithologists interested in studying waterbirds in countries with little own potential for such studies on the other…

Forums & Mailing Lists

BOU BirdTalk

Mailing List

To subscribe to list: BOU_birdtalk-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

The BOU has set up a new email discussion group for ornithologists around the globe. The aim of BOU BirdTalk is to encourage the discussion of scientific research amongst ornithologists and to provide a noticeboard for meetings, conferences, jobs, expeditions, publications, etc. The group is free to join and open to anyone interested in any aspect of ornithology. To join BOU BirdTalk send a blank email with the word subscribe in the subject field.


Avian Demography Unit - University of Cape Town


The Avian Demography Unit (or ADU as it is mostly known in the vernacular) is a research unit of the University of Cape Town. Initially it was built on the nucleus of the South African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING) and the Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP). The ADU was established in December 1991 and forms part of the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town…

University of Michigan - Museum of Zoology Bird Division


The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Bird Division is a collection of resources for people who conduct research on or need information about birds. The two Division curators and various graduate students conduct research on the phylogenetic relationships, evolution and behavior of a wide variety of birds using museum collections, molecular techniques, and captive and field studies. We actively maintain a collection of about 200,000 preserved specimens available for study by systematists and other scientists. We have a sound laboratory for analysis of bird vocalizations. Since 1930 the Bird Division has been the headquarters and provided space for the library of the Wilson Ornithological Society, an international organization devoted to the study of birds…

University of Minnesota - Raptor Centre


Established in 1974, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine specializes in the medical care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. In addition to treating approximately 800 birds a year, the internationally known program provides training in raptor medicine and surgery for veterinarians from around the world, reaches more than 150,000 people each year through public education programs and events, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations. The majority of its funding comes from private donations…

Other Links

Birds of Prey


I've been interested in raptors and other birds of prey for about fifteen years. I've conducted hawk watches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas for the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA); was one of HMANA's newsletter editors for ten years, and was on its Board of Directors for a term.

Birds of the Western Palearctic


Maps & Distribution



The main bird related activity that people engage in is that of bird watching. The activity of Bird watching continues to increase in popularity. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby and there are always opportunities to spot new bird species. One way to watch birds is to attract them to your garden. You can attract birds by providing food, water and shelter for them…

Birdwatcher's Encyclopaedia & Dictionary


A searchable data base and dictionary which is a good starting place when undertaking a study… part of the Bird On Anglo-American co-operation pages.

Birdwatching with Dominic Couzens


My site offers the chance to book for Day-trips (mainly in the South-East of England); Birding Weekends (in the UK) and Foreign Tours. For a flavour of what you might expect, visit my Recent Highlights page. You can also invite Dominic to lecture etc.

Careers in Bird Study


Careers in avian or bird study span a wide variety of responsibilities. Check the table below for representative examples. Job title, experience needed and position locale are listed for each…

Colour Ringing


All about the European studies using colour rings…

CVANET - Cavity-Nesting Bird Research


CAVNET has been established to facilitate scientific discussions concerning cavity-nesting birds.This list has been created for researchers, academics, and others with a common interest in discussing the scientific aspects of cavity nesters…

Feather Collection - Hans Schick


This site is in stage of early preparation…

How to write field notes


Most of us are not called upon to explore a continent, but occasionally we might come across a detail about the world around us that others may find of interest. The quality of the details written affects how seriously the record is taken. Practising with field notes every day prepares the amateur naturalist for the unexpected event



French Canadian site including a mailing group in French.

Kids Wings


Lots of birding info and activities for young birders…

Laura Erickson's For the Birds


According to this author… Your FAIR and BALANCED source for information about birds…

Maps & Distribution


Maps & Distribution - of the birds of the Western Palearctic Region



Living Birds of the World - Where Ornithology has a name… in your home and in your Personal Computer! All the known living Species and Subspecies and much more… By Alberto Masi. A Data Bank of the living and known birds of the world, structured according to the conventional classification system. It enables the retrieval of a wide range of information from the taxonomic hierarchy: Order, Family, Genus, Specie and Subspecie, and makes provision for retrieval other classifications such as common names (English and Italian); geographical distribution of species and subspecies, the taxonomic notes and the european species and the world numbers (w.n.) according to the numerical system used by the American Ornithologist Union.

Ornithological Worldwide Literature (OWL)


Data base of all recent articles etc…The Ornithological Worldwide Literature (OWL) is a compilation of citations and abstracts from the worldwide scientific literature that pertain to the science of ornithology. Its coverage includes the 'grey' literature, which are not abstracted by commercial databases such as Zoological Record or the Science Citation Index



Ornithology.com is for all ornithologists, bird enthusiasts, and the environmentally-minded. It is the place to begin for information on wild birds. Science, education, and conservation are our goals.

Overview of Wild Bird Feeding


The bird feeding experience is influenced by the quality of the wild bird food presented and the effectiveness with which it is made available to the birds. Foods vary greatly in their attractiveness, as will be discussed later, and some bird feeders have a much higher innate attractiveness than others. For example, squirrel-proof feeders tend to have a low innate attractiveness to birds than feeders that are not designed to be squirrel-proof. Therefore their use results in a less satisfactory bird feeding experience than would be the case if an attractive non-squirrel-proof feeder were presented and squirrel-proofed through external means, such as baffles.

Raptor News


The electronic circular of the World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls (WWGBP)

Seabird Osteology


The Seabirds Skull Gallery, existing since 2002, has only been changed a bit and was given a new name that covers the subject more properly. After two years working on this site it is not only skulls anymore that are shown. Regular visitors have already noticed that since December 2004 the scope has widened. It now includes also other parts of the seabird skeleton. In the Seabird Osteology section general aspects of seabird osteology are treated and in the species section you willl find a listing of families and groups with links to pages on skeletons of particular species or groups. There is always work in progress, which means that there will be additions and improvements from time to time…

Spring Alive


They say that one swallow doesn't make a summer, but who said it can’t make a spring? Everyone knows that birds coming back from their winter travels are the real Spring Messengers. Swift, Swallows, Storks and Cuckoos are among the very first signs that winter is over and everything has started to come alive once more. Spring Alive! The return of spring is cheerfully welcomed by people all over Europe every year. Let’s celebrate this wonderful time by looking for these signs of spring - the returning birds! This is what Spring Alive! is all about…

Studying Birds


10 ways to get started…

The Auk


SORA - Searchable Ornithological Research Archive

VIREO - Visual Resources for Ornithology


VIREO, the world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs, has 25,000 of its 120,000 photographs on the web. More than 6,650 species of birds are represented. VIREO was established in 1979 to create a centralised, well-curated collection of bird photographs accessible for scientific, educational and commercial use. Some of the world's best bird photographers are VIREO contributors. VIREO is constantly expanding its collection and looking for new talent.