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

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. Despite the popularity of birding as a pastime there are surprisingly few full-time college courses.

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 | Christopher Helm | 2003 | Hardback | 255 pages, B/w photos | ISBN: 9781873403976 Buy this book from
  • Bird Population Studies

    | (Relevance to Conservation and Management) | By CM Perrins, J-D Lebreton & GJM Hirons | OUP | 1993 | Paperback | 650 pages, 155 line illustrations, tables, maps | ISBN: 9780198540823 Buy this book from
  • Bird Senses

    | Bird Senses | How and What Birds See, Hear, Smell, Taste and Feel | by Professor Graham R Martin | Pelagic Publishing | 2020 | Paperback | 300 Pages | 100+ Colour Photos & Illustrations | ISBN: 9781784272166 | £29.99p | ISBN: 9781784272166 Buy this book from
  • How to be a Bad Birdwatcher

    | (To the Glory of Life) | by Simon Barnes | Short Books | 2004 | Paperback | ISBN: 9781904977056 Buy this book from
  • The Living Bird

    | (100 Years of Listening to Nature) | By Gerrit Vyn | Barbara Kingsolver | Jared Diamond | John W Fitzpatrick | Lyanda Lynn Haupt & Scott Weidensaul | Mountaineers Books | 2015 | Hardback | 208 pages, 250 colour photos | ISBN: 9781594859656 Buy this book from
  • Wings and Rings

    | (A History of Bird Migration Studies in Europe) | By Richard Vaughan | Isabelline Books | 2009 | Paperback | 256 pages, colour and black & white plates | ISBN: 9780955278747 Buy this book from
Museums & Universities
  • AMNH Ornithology

  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

    The Ornithology Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is one of the 10 largest and taxonomically most complete bird collections in the world. There are over 205,000 study skins, from over 7,000 species, and over 17,000 tissue samples.
  • Animal 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…
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    We bring together scientists, students, and people from all walks of life in the quest to generate new knowledge and conserve our shared natural world. You can help.
  • Edward Grey Institute

    The Edward Grey Institute is part of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. Founded in 1937, it conducts research into the behaviour, ecology, evolution and conservation of birds, with a strong emphasis on understanding organisms in their natural environments. Read more on the history of the EGI.
  • Harvard University Ornithology

    The Ornithology collection houses recent birds.
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

    Birds are probably the most fascinating species in the world - no other group attracts so many devotees and amateur scientists. As diurnal animals, birds can be seen everywhere. They move into every kind of territory, even apparently inhospitable areas such as the Antarctica or the Sahara Desert.
  • Smithsonian

    Ornithology is the study of birds. Birds are distinguished from other living vertebrates by three things: feathers, hollow bones, and hard shelled eggs. Birds are found worldwide, and roughy 10,000 species are known to exist. Ornithological research emcompasses many branches, including taxonomy, evolution, anatomy, ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management. The Division of Birds serves the research community through the research of our scientists and stewardship of the bird collections.
  • The Natural History Museum

    The Museum's avian skin collection is the second largest of its kind in the world, with almost 750,000 specimens representing about 95 per cent of the world's bird species.
  • University of Birmingham Centre for Ornithology

    We employ birds as model species in the investigation of general principles and mechanisms that are central to understanding key questions in biology and the environment.
  • 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
  • Wetlands International

    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
Other Links
  • American Ornithological Society

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Colour Ringing

    All about the European studies using colour rings…
  • 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
  • Hydridisation

    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
  • Maps & Distribution

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

    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.

    Website 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)
  • SORA - Searchable Ornithological Research Archive

    SORA is the world's first and largest open access ornithological publications archive. This resource is the product of collaborations between the American Ornithologists Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society and the University of New Mexico Libraries. SORA provides access to an extensive library of ornithological literature of international scope, and detailed material documenting the history of ornithology in North America over the last 120 years.
  • Spring Alive

    They say that one swallow doesn't make a summer, but who said it can
  • Studying Birds

    10 ways to get started
  • 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.

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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