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Natural History of Birds: Evolution, Classification and Distribution

 

 Morton Arboretum class, October, 2014    

What Is A Bird

Biological Evolution

Are Birds Dinosaurs?

Observing and Recording

Speciation and Relationships

 

Habitat and Summary - Class 5 Power Point

 

 Outline and Bibliography

Text:

Elphick, Chris, John B. Dunning, Jr., and David Allen Sibley, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, Alfred A Knopf, 2001

Highly reccomended:

Tudge, Colin, The Bird, A natural history of who birds are, where they came from, and how they live, Three Rivers Press, 2008

Week 1. Introduction, basics

Read before class: Sibley, Origins, Evolution and Classification, pages 39-50.

I. Why is a bird a bird? Important structural features

II. Biological Evolution

III. Are Birds Dinosaurs?

IV. Field Observations

Read in preparation for field observation: 
Sibley, Behavior, pp 51-79; Habitats and Distributions, pp 80-86

Week 2 Field (and classroom depending on conditions)

III. Who lives where? Habitat and Behavior – field observations

Week 3

IV. Classification, relationships

Diversity - Introduction to orders and families

V. Adaptation and evolution - How does evolution happen?

VI, Families – more about classification

Raptors: hawks and owls Sibley pp 212-224; 336-347

Crows and jays Sibley p. 408

Chickadees and Titmice Sibley p. 425

Sorting out the 9-primaried oscines

New World Sparrows Sibley p. 516

Cardinals and Allies Sibley p. 536

Finches and Allies Sibley p. 552

Week 4 Field

How does adaptation drive diversification?

Field observation of adaptation for differing habitats

VII. Changing classifications over time, new developments

Week 5

VIII. Habitats and Distribution - Adaptation to change

IX. Why habitat matters - populations, conservation, endangered species

X. The future of ornithology – scientists and “amateurs”

XI. Ethics – Action

Conclusions, further study etc.

Bibliography

Alderfer, Jonathon, ed., Complete Birds of North America, National Geographic, 2006

Alsop, Fred J. III, Birds of North America, DK Publishing in association with The Smithsonian Institution, 2001

Attenborough, David, host, The Life of Birds, DVD, British Broadcasting, 1998

Bent, Arthur Cleveland et. al., Life Histories of North American Birds, 21 volumes, originally published by the Smithsonian, 1919 – 1968, reprinted by Dover

A sampling of species accounts is at http://birdsbybent.netfirms.com/index.htm

  • Birds: Readings from Scientific American, W. H. Freeman, 1980

Brooke, Michael and Tim Birkhead, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology, Cambridge University Press; 1991

Dunne, Pete, Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion, Houghton Mifflin, 2006

Ehrlich, Paul, David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye, The Birder's Handbook, Simon and Schuster, 1988

Elliott, Lang, Stokes Field Guide to Birds Songs, Eastern Region - Audio CD, Nature Sound Studio, 1997 (western region also available)

Elphick, Chris, John B. Dunning, Jr., and David Allen Sibley, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, Alfred A Knopf, 2001

Hanson, Thor, Feathers, The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, Basic Books, 2011

Kaufman, Ken, Lives of North American Birds, Houghton Mifflin, 1996

Koeppel, Dan, To See Every Bird on Earth - Chapter 8, How Many Birds Can There Be?, Hudson Street Press, 2005

Kroodsma, Donald, The Singing Life of Birds, Houghton Mifflin, 2005

Kroodsma, Donald, Bird Song by the Seasons, Houghton Mifflin, 2009

Leslie, Clare Walker and Charles E. Roth, Keeping a Nature Journal, Storey Publishing, 2000 (2d edition 2003)

Morrison, Gordon, ed., The Birdwatcher's Companion, Hill and Wang, 1982

Perrins, Christopher, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds, Princeton University Press, 2009

Proctor, Noble S. and Patrick J. Lynch, Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure and Function, Yale University Press, 1998

Sibley, David Allen, Sibley's Birding Basics, Alfred A. Knopf, 2002

Stokes, Donald and Lillian Stokes, A Guide to Bird Behavior Vols. 1 -3, Little Brown, 1979-1989

Terres, John K., The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Alfred A. Knopf, 1980

Tudge, Colin, The Bird, A natural history of who birds are, where they came from, and how they live, Three Rivers Press, 2008

Weiner, Jonathon, The Beak of the Finch, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994

American Birding Association: http://www.aba.org/about/

American Ornitholigists' Union: http://www.aou.org/index.php

Understanding Evolution, Univ. of CA, Berkeley: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

The Wild Classroom: http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biodiversity/birds/birdorders/index.html

Ornithology Course Syllabus, Gary Ritchison, Eastern Kentucky University (probably way more than you want to know, but see especially The Geography of Birds)

http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/ornitholsyl.htm

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, Studying Birds

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/studying

The species question:

Ernst Mayr, What is a Species and What is Not?, 1996

http://darwiniana.org/mayrspecies.htm

Carl Zimmer, What Is A Species, 2012

http://carlzimmer.com/articles/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1212035493&archive=&start_from=&ucat=11

Ted Floyd, Darwin Schoenberg, and Sibley: A New Dawn for Nature Study?

http://blog.aba.org/2011/12/darwin-schoenberg-and-sibley-a-new-dawn-for-birding.html

Nick Sly and Shawn Billerman, Avian Relationships- What do we Know?

http://slybird.blogspot.com/2008/07/avian-relationships-what-do-we-know.html

Evolution videos

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/teachstuds/svideos.html