Bird Ecology Laboratory (204-524)

Instructor: Dr. Peter Dunn

Lapham S497
ph: 229-2253

Laboratory times: Wed. 900-1250 or 1300-1650 in Lapham 382

Office hours: Tues and Thurs 9-10.

Description: Study of bird taxonomy and ecology, including the identification of Wisconsin birds.

Textbook: You will need a field guide to the birds. For beginners, I recommend the "Field guide to the Birds of NA, 3rd ed." by the National Geographic Society.

Also useful is "The Birder's Handbook' by Ehrlich et al.(1988) Fireside Books.

click here for a Checklist of Wisconsin Birds (Excel file)

Evaluation: There will be questions (5-10) handed out for most labs which will be answered and handed in at the end of each lab period. These may include questions about displays in the lab, videos or birds we see during field trips.

Attendance at one of the two Saturday field trips is required.

Students who require any special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course, please contact me as soon as possible to make suitable arrangements.

One Saturday field trip is required.


Laboratory topics

Week Dates Topic


1 31 Jan Introduction, Binoculars & field guides, Birdwatching techniques Bird Topography

2 7 Feb Diversity of birds (slides),
Distribution and Ecology of various groups: Loons to Ibises

3 14 Feb Milwaukee Lakeshore; video: Feathers & flight

4 21 Feb Ducks, geese and swans, video: Bills and eating
5 28 Feb Hawks to Cranes, video: Meat-eating

6 7 Mar Milwaukee Lakeshore;

7 14 Mar Shorebirds: Plovers to Puffins; video: courtship & mating

21 Mar Spring Break

8 28 Mar Pigeons to Woodpeckers

9 4 Aprr Flycatchers to wrens; video: Signals and Song
10 11 Apr Kinglets to warblers

11 18 Apr Harbor and Lake Park; Tanagers to sparrows

19 Apr (Sat) Prairie chickens & ICF Field Trip (Optional)

12 26 Apr (Sat) Field trip to Horicon NWR No Friday Lab

13 3 May (Sat) Field trip to UWM Field Station No Friday Lab