Ornithology

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Spring semester
Elective

This will be a field-oriented class, requiring several field trips throughout the semester. The final trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the month of May will be required for credit. In class, we will study the different families of birds found in Oregon. We will also note which species are found in which biomes and what habitats they prefer. We will study the special adaptations of avian anatomy and physiology that make it possible for birds to function as they do. Much time will be spent learning how to identify, by sight and sound, the different species of birds found in Oregon, thus beginning what we believe will be a lifelong hobby for most class members.

Units

Unit Essential Questions Habits Of Mind Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
Origin and Evolution

Are birds decended from dinosaurs, or birds and dinosaurs decended from a common ancestor?

What is the evidence for the origin of birds?

 

Remember that evolution has occcurred and all organisms share a common ancestor if we go back far enough in time, and new species arrive by naturral selection and speciation over time. 

Evidence from proponents of the dinosaur origin theory. 

Evidence from the proponents of the common ancestor theory.

Evidence from the latest findings of new fossils. 

 

Learn to critically analyze statements of "experts."

Learn to seek reliable evidence to support one's hypothesis. 

Learn that a hypothesis is just that, given no proof. 

Learn that hypotheses and theories can/should change with new evidence.

 

Unit test. 

Oral and written reports.

Homework projects. 

Feathers and Physics of Flight

How did feathers probably originate? 

Were birds the first species to have feathers? 

What are functions of feathers other than flight?

What is an airfoil?

What adaptations to wing and body feathers allow diferent kinfs of flight?

What are the features of the four main types of wings?

Remember that birds have evolved to become specialized for their niche, and different kinds of flight are characteristic of different niches. 

Remember that birds have evolved anatomically and physiologicaly and that feathers may not originally have evolved for flight.

 

Origin and anatomy of feathers.

Feathers for airfoils.

Bernoulli's Principle. 

Four wing types.

Obsevation of barbules - microscopic examination of feathers.

Naming and comparing homologous anatomical parts.

Understanding how an airfoil works. 

 

 

Written tests
Photographic slide identification tests
Lab practicals

Watching Birds, Pasquier
Wild Bird Magazine
Nature Magazine
Audubon Magazine
The Auk (professional journal.)
The Condor (professional journal)
Field guides
Online sources

Feathers and Physics of Flight

How did feathers probably originate? 

Were birds the first species to have feathers? 

What are functions of feathers other than flight?

What is an airfoil?

What adaptations to wing and body feathers allow diferent kinfs of flight?

What are the features of the four main types of wings?

Remember that birds have evolved to become specialized for their niche, and different kinds of flight are characteristic of different niches. 

Remember that birds have evolved anatomically and physiologicaly and that feathers may not originally have evolved for flight.

 

Origin and anatomy of feathers.

Feathers for airfoils.

Bernoulli's Principle. 

Four wing types.

Obsevation of barbules - microscopic examination of feathers.

Naming and comparing homologous anatomical parts.

Understanding how an airfoil works. 

 

 

Written tests
Photographic slide identification tests
Lab practicals

Watching Birds, Pasquier
Wild Bird Magazine
Nature Magazine
Audubon Magazine
The Auk (professional journal.)
The Condor (professional journal)
Field guides
Online sources