Course description

The biology, ecology, and behavior of the avifauna of the Isles of Shoals. Focuses on fieldwork designed to observe and study territoriality, breeding biology, and survivorship. Students learn and apply numerous ornithological field methods including various census techniques, territory mapping, banding, behavioral observations and creating a field notebook.

Outcome 1: To recognize the birds of the Isles of Shoals by sight and sound.

Outcome 2: To understand and appreciate the diversity of life-history strategies pursued by these birds.

Outcome 3: To identify evolutionary adaptations that allow birds to thrive in various environments.

Outcome 4: To understand the conservation challenges facing bird populations and gain knowledge of approaches used to ensure the long-term persistence of seabird populations.

Outcome 5: To learn and practice a variety of field techniques used for studying birds including banding, survey methods (point counts, transects, spot mapping), nest monitoring, and behavioral observations.

Outcome 6: To keep an appropriate and detailed field journal.

Outcome 7: To develop and test ecological hypotheses through an independent project, to summarize and analyze data, and to present scientific information appropriately in both written and oral form.


One semester of college-level biology or equivalent; background in ornithology or vertebrate biology is recommended,but not required.

Summer 2024: