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  • 1. 2011 ORNITHOLOGY (B/C) KAREN LANCOUR National Bio Rules Committee Chairman [email_address]
  • 2. Event Rules – 2011
    • DISCLAIMER
    • This presentation was prepared using draft rules.  There may be some changes in the final copy of the rules.  The rules which will be in your Coaches Manual and Student Manuals will be the official rules.
  • 3. Event Rules – 2011
    • BE SURE TO CHECK THE 2011 EVENT RULES FOR EVENT PARAMETERS AND TOPICS FOR EACH COMPETITION LEVEL
    • The National Bird List is at
    • www.soinc.org under Event
    • Information (states may modify for state & regional competitions)
  • 4. TRAINING MATERIALS
    • Training Power Point – content overview
    • Training Handout - content information
    • Sample Tournament – sample problems with key
    • Event Supervisor Guide – event prep tips, setup needs and scoring tips
    • Internet Resources & Training Materials – on the Science Olympiad website at www.soinc.org
    • under Event Information
    • A Biology-Earth Science CD, the Peterson, Birds of North America field guide as well as the Division B and Division C Test Packets are available from SO store at www.soinc.org
  • 5. The Competition
    • Content :
      • Taxonomic Scheme of the 2011 Official Science Olympiad Bird List is used in competition
      • Identification, anatomy & physiology, reproduction, habitat characteristics, ecology, diet, behavior, ID calls, conservation, biogeography
      • Process Skills: observation, inferences, data and diagram analysis
      • Event Parameters: check 2010-2011 rules for what is allowed
  • 6. Field Guide
    • All specimens, with current taxonomy, on the National List are represented in the
    • Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America, Houghton Mifflin, 2008
  • 7. Taxonomy
    • Official National List
    • Order
      • Family
          • Genus specie (Scientific name)
          • and Common name
  • 8. ORDERS AND FAMILIES OF BIRDS
    • Learn the Order and Family characteristics and then species!!
    • General arrangement of guides
    • The families reflect how birds have evolved and have many distinctive features and behaviors.
    • Ocean, shore, game and predatory birds appear first, they are generally large birds.
    • Next are hole-nesting birds without true songs, they are smaller.
    • Last come the song birds which are still smaller.
  • 9. Class Aves
    • 3 billion birds
    • 9000 species
    • vertebrates with feathers, modified for flight and for active metabolism.
    • horny beak, no teeth
    • large muscular stomach
    • feathers
    • large yolked, hard-shelled eggs. The parent bird provides extensive care of the young until it is grown, or gets some other bird to look after the young.
    • strong skeleton
  • 10. 19 Orders on the SO National Bird List
    • Anseriformes —waterfowl
    • Galliformes —bird-like fowl
    • Gaviiformes —loons
    • Podicipediformes —grebes
    • Procellariiformes —albatrosses, petrels, and allies
    • Pelecaniformes —pelicans and allies
    • Ciconiiformes —storks, bitterns, herons and allies “Waders”
    • Falconiformes —falcons, eagles, hawks and allies – “Birds of Prey”
    • Gruiformes —cranes and allies
    • Charadriiformes —gulls, button-quails, plovers and allies
  • 11. 19 Orders on the SO National Bird List
    • Columbiformes —doves and pigeons
    • Cuculiformes —cuckoos, Roadrunners, and Anis
    • Strigiformes —owls
    • Caprimulgiformes — Goatsuckers, nightjars and allies
    • Apodiformes —swifts and hummingbirds
    • Trogoniformes —trogons
    • Coraciiformes —kingfishers and allies
    • Piciformes —woodpeckers and allies
    • Passeriformes —passerines – perching birds with most being song birds
  • 12. Order Characteristics
    • Order Apodiformes – swifts, tree swifts, and hummingbirds
      • their legs are small and have limited function aside from perching.
      • the feet are covered with bare skin rather than the scales (scutes) that other birds have.
      • long wings with short, stout humerus bones
  • 13. Family Characteristics
    • Gives unique characteristics of this group of birds
    • Family Trochilidae – Pay attention to these characteristics !!!
      • Small birds, iridescent with needle like beak for sipping nectar
      • Jewel like throat feathers in most males
      • Hover when feeding – nectar (red color favored), small insects, spiders
      • Can fly backwards & wing motion is so rapid that wings appear to blur
      • Aggressive
      • Hover when feeding
      • Vocal differences can be important in identification
  • 14. Specie Characteristics
    • Unique characteristics of this particular bird
    • Archilochus colubris - Ruby-throated Hummingbird
      • Small bird - 3 ¾ inches or about 10 cm.
      • Male has fiery red throat, irridescent green back and forked tail
      • Female lacks red throat
      • The only widespread specie East of Mississippi
      • Male’s wings hum in courtship display
      • Chase calls are high and squeaky – other call a soft chew
      • Habitat – flowers, gardens, wood edges, over streams
  • 15. Bird Modifications
    • Generally the feeding habits go from eating fish and small mammals to eating seeds and insects.
    • Special modifications in morphology allow birds to succeed in their environment.
    • These modifications are very helpful in identifying families, species, and their unique behaviors.
  • 16. Body Regions
  • 17. Identification Features
    • Special features
    • Adaptations
    • Sexual differences
  • 18. Head Markings
    • Many have distinctive stripes or colored patches on their head.
    • Crown = tip of the head and Cap = a distinctively colored crown as black-capped chickadees.
    • Crest = a projection or tuft on the head often brightly colored as cardinals.
    • Lores = space between eye and bill and spectacles = distinctive eye rings or eye stripe.
    • Size of eye – large eyes are hints that the bird is nocturnal or feeds at night.
    • Color of eye – they may be red, yellow, brown, black, etc.
    • Ear tufts = projections near ear region as horned owls (birds do not have visible ears).
    • Auricle region = feathers covering the opening of the ears.
    • Chin = the area around the bill
    • Throat = the area between the bill and the breast. It may be highly brightly colored as the ruby throated humming birds.
  • 19. Bill Adaptations for Feeding
    • The two parts are the upper and lower mandibles. Often mistakenly called a beak.
    • Beak = the hooked bill of a hawk or parrot.
    • The bill is modified for eating a specific type of food.
  • 20. Bill adaptations
    • A. probing flowers for nectar
    • B. drilling into trees for insects
    • C. scooping fish
    • D. catching fish
    • E. straining food from the water
    • F. capturing prey and tearing flesh
    • G. cracking seeds
    • H. capturing worms and insects
    • I. opening seeds from pine cones
  • 21. NECK and BODY
    • Most birds have short necks but some such as the crane are long.
    • Some birds are stout while others are slender bodied.
    • Back = upper surface and rump = area closest to the tail.
    • Breast (chest) = underside near head and belly = underside around legs.
    • Sides = belly under wings.
    • Many birds have distinctive plumage patterns but remember that stripes are head to head or lengthwise while bars are wing to wing or crosswise.
  • 22. PLUMAGE
    • The color pattern of the feathers along the body varies. It is often unique for a species.
    • It is usually brighter in males than females with young of both sexes resembling the female.
    • It is usually brightest during the mating season (spring and summer for most birds).
  • 23. TAIL
    • The tail is used for steering and breaking during flight. It can also be used in courting displays.
    • The shape and color pattern is useful in identification.
    • The tail can be long or short and its shape can be square, rounded, pointed, elongated, forked or notched.
  • 24. Wing Feathers
    • WINGS: used for true flight as well as gliding, balance during hovering and perching, and during courtship. Many have distinctive white or colored patches.
    • Wings can be long or short, pointed or rounded.
    • Shoulder = part of wing nearest to the body. There are two sets of flight feathers.
    • Primaries = from bend outward to tip and Secondaries = from bend toward shoulder.
  • 25. LEGS and FEET
    • The length and thickness of the legs as well as the shape of the foot are clues to the way the bird lives.
    • Some birds extend their legs during flight while others hold them under their body.
    • The feet are modified for perching, clinging, walking or swimming.
  • 26. Foot adaptations
    • A. perching
    • B. wading
    • C. climbing or clinging
    • D. swimming
    • E. preying
  • 27. VOCALIZATION
    • Many birds have distinctive calls and songs. They can help to identify birds not visible.
    • Calls are short and simple to signal alarm or distress while songs are more complex and are used for ownership of feeding territory and courtship. In most species only males sing.
  • 28. LEARNING BIRD SONGS
    • Books and field guides attempt to put sounds into words. Many have slightly different word translations so be careful about these.
    • Listen to the actual sounds or recordings to learn them.
  • 29. BEHAVIOR
    • What a bird is doing can tell a lot about its identity and role in its ecosystem.
    • Is it alone or in a flock? Is it shy or social or aggressive? Where is it most of its time?
    • How does it fly? Is it soaring, gliding, flapping or fluttering? Is there a flock flight pattern ?
  • 30. BEHAVIOR
    • Is it swimming, dappling, diving, perching, walking, and/or hopping?
    • How does it feed and what does it eat? Where does it nest? How do the young act?
    • How does it react to other birds of its specie, other species or other animals?
    • Does it have any unique behaviors?
  • 31. 2009 - The State of the Birds United States of America
    • Cooperative Effort of:
    • North American Bird Conservation
    • Initiative, U.S. Committee
    • American Bird Conservancy
    • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
    • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
    • Klamath Bird Observatory
    • National Audubon Society
    • The Nature Conservancy
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • U.S. Geological Survey
  • 32. Bird Ecology – Roles of birds in the ecosystem
    • Indicators of environmental health
    • Food source for humans and animals
    • Flower pollinators
    • Insect control – they eat insects and reduce many pests
    • Disseminate seeds
    • Scavengers and Cleaning Carcasses of Dead Animals
    • Clean parasites off animals
  • 33. Challenges to Bird Population
    • Habitat loss
    • Residential and commercial development
    • Agriculture
    • Energy production and mining
    • Natural resource use
    • Pollution
    • Climate change
  • 34. Student Preparation Tips
    • Use a power point presentation
    • Insert pictures, key characteristics and songs
    • Practice with power point sample stations with questions, pictures, and songs
    • Tab your field guide
    • Practice using the field guide
    • Practice under timed conditions