Ornithology

Ornithology is the scientific discipline--it is, in fact, a branch of zoology--that investigates the natural history of birds and their classification.

The word ornithology derives from the Greek terms ornis or ornithos, ("bird"), and logos, ("rationale" or "explanation").

  • Geophony, Biophony, and Anthrophony Featured Article Geophony, Biophony, and Anthrophony Geophony, Biophony, and Anthrophony

    What do these words mean? Biophony is the melodic sound created by such organisms as frogs and birds; geophony, the composition of non-biological sounds like wind, rain and... More »

  • Emperor penguin Featured Article Emperor penguin Emperor penguin

    The Emperor penguin (scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins, and with the King penguin... More »

  • Macaroni penguin Featured Article Macaroni penguin Macaroni penguin

    The Macaroni penguin (scientific name: Eudyptes chrysolophus) is is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins. It is one of six "Crested... More »

  • Gentoo penguin Featured Article Gentoo penguin Gentoo penguin

    The Gentoo penguin (scientific name: Pygoscelis papua) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins. It is one of three "Brush-tailed... More »

  • Oldest Known Wild Bird in U.S. Featured Article Oldest Known Wild Bird in U.S. Oldest Known Wild Bird in U.S.

    Oldest Known Wild Bird in U.S. Returns to Midway to Raise Chick The oldest known U.S. wild bird—a coyly conservative 60—is a new mother. The bird, a Laysan... More »

  • Wild Birds and Bird Influenza Featured News Article Wild Birds and Bird Influenza Wild Birds and Bird Influenza

    Research Suggests Wild Birds May Play a Role in the Spread of Bird Flu Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu [influenza], also known as highly... More »

  • Wind turbine bird mortality Featured Article Wind turbine bird mortality Wind turbine bird mortality

    Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately... More »

  • Big-crested penguin Featured Article Big-crested penguin Big-crested penguin

    Also called Erect-crested penguin. The Big-crested penguin (scientific name: Eudyptes sclateri) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins. It is... More »

Recently Updated
Climate change effects on birds Last Updated on 2014-09-06 19:35:56 Many birds species all over the world are highly sensitive to the effects of climate change. Scientists have found declines of up to 90 percent in some bird populations, as well as total and unprecedented reproductive failure in others, althought the role of any change in climate is typically not determined. Population declines generally have several associative causal factors including habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and pollution. Specific groups that are at high risk from climate change include migratory birds, mountain birds, island birds,   wetland   birds, Arctic birds, Antarctic birds and seabirds. Bird species that can move easily to new habitat are expected to continue to do well; however, bird species that thrive only in a narrow environmental range can be expected to decline, and to be outcompeted by invasive species. With a 0.8°C average... More »
Burrowing Owl Last Updated on 2014-06-29 17:15:07 Wikipedia Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are a curious and expressive species of owl. They are related to other species of small owl in the genus Athene (Little Owl, Spotted Owlet, and Forest Owlet) due to genetic and physical similarities, but are sometimes put in a genus of their own, Speotyto, due to their unique behavior. Burrowing Owls are largely terrestrial and are the only owls known for being diurnal and ground-loving. They can often be seen foraging around their burrows during the day, but they typically avoid midday heat and do their hunting at night.   The Burrowing Owl is also known for its various personalities, as depicted in photography of the bird. Athene cunicularia goes by various other colloquial names as well including: Billy Owl, Ground Owl, Long-Legged Owl, Prairie Owl, and Prairie Dog Owl.  Burrowing Owls in the... More »
Black-footed penguin Last Updated on 2014-06-20 17:13:50 Also known as the 'African Penguin' or 'Cape Penguin', and 'Jackass Penguin', the Black-footed penguin (scientific name: Spheniscus demersus) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins (Spheniscidae). It is one of four co-called "Banded Penguins" in the genus Spheniscus, which also includes the Humboldt, Magellanic and Galapagos penguins.     Conservation Status   Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Aves (Birds) Order:-------- Sphenisciformes Family:-------- Spheniscidae (Penguins) Genus:--------- Spheniscus (Banded Penguins) Species:-------- Spheniscus demersus (Linnaeus, 1758) Like all penguins, the Black-footed penguin is... More »
Great penguins Last Updated on 2014-06-20 14:09:17 Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Aves (Birds) Order:-------- Sphenisciformes Family:-------- Spheniscidae (Penguins) Genus:--------  Aptenodytes  (Great Penguins) Species: 1.  Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844 (Emperor Penguin) 2. Aptenodytes patagonicus (King Penguin) The Great penguins (scientific name: Aptenodytes) are a genus of two penguin species within the penguin family of seventeen species - Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) and King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus). Like all penguins, Great penguins are characterized by their erect posture, stiff wings, excellent swimming ability, awkward movement out of water, and coloring.The black backs and white fronts, make all penguins difficult to see when swimming, blending against the sea from above and the sky... More »
Ashmore and Cartier Islands Last Updated on 2014-06-19 16:38:22 Ashmore and Cartier Islands are uninhabited and protected islands and reefs in the Indian Ocean, midway between northwestern Australia and Timor island. Included are: Ashmore Reef 155.40 km2 (60 sq mi) area within reef (including lagoon) West Islet, 51,200 m² land area; Middle Islet, 21,200 m² land area; East Islet, 25,000 m² land area;   Cartier Reef (44.03 km² area within reef (including lagoon) Cartier Island, 17,000 m² land area; The Hiberian Reef, also part of Australia, is near by. The major environmental issues include: illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian fisherman, as well as overfishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels, are ongoing problems . Islands are susceptible to surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards. The islands came... More »