The word “Ornithology” comes from the Latin word “Ornitologia” which means Birds Science. Moreover, this is the branch of Zoology which deals with the scientific study of birds, from little sparrow to giant size ostrich, all birds come under this category. Therefore it includes biology, habitats, evolution, and also, other aspects of birds. In other words, the work and analysis of Charles Darwin and Erwin Stresemann help the enthusiasts to go deeper.
Bird watchers are everywhere; some of them are professional; mostly amateur. Even though initially we consider starting it as a hobby, it later becomes an interesting habit. Primarily they concentrate on different variations of birds. Therefore they usually carry a journal, known as “life list.” In other words for him, nothing can be more exciting than exploring an exotic one.
Many people find it as an unconventional stress buster and also, they get back to nature. Therefore the study of birds not only tells us about birds but also their preferences, adaptability, environmental conditions which in turn encourages research on the environment also. In other words, an amateur plays a vital role in this field, unlike other research areas. After that, a large number of people from different geographic locations are involved in collaborative projects. Christmas Bird Count, Backyard Bird Count, North American Breeding Bird Survey are some of the nationwide projects.
Techniques Used in Ornithology
The equipment and techniques used in Ornithology from earlier ages to modern times are varied.
It refers to the traditional method. Egg collection was a common approach in the beginning. To preserve it, content extracted through a tiny hole. With the invention of the bow drill, it became a standard practice.
The preservation of bird skin has become a part of this study. Museums in Europe and North America have a vast collection of skins along with feathers, tail, wing, and tarsus. Arsenic, less toxic borax and spirit are common preservatives.
You can use bird liming, mist net, cannon netting, funnel traps for capturing birds. Measurements are vital in establishing an identity for different species. Therefore, observations based on the specific protocol are helpful to estimate bird diversity, population density.
Ornithology Laboratory-based Research
Some features like behavioral or psychological changes are difficult to observe in a short span. So, a dedicated study for a prolonged period of time is required to analyze bird intelligence, bird-to-human behavior or medical treatments.
Birds impact human lives in various ways. We get eggs, meat, feather, etc. from domesticated birds. Some birds are regarded as a pest, for example, Pigeon eats human food and also carries germs. Crows eat crops. Woodpeckers damage our houses. Common Myna has a significant impact on biodiversity, particularly in agriculture. Pigeons and starlings of high population in cities regarded as a nuisance. Many studies have been carried out on the stomach content of birds in order to consider whether it is beneficial or harmful to humanity.
So, now you know the important parts of this branch of Zoology.