Sunday, July 20, 2014

Field Zoology Week 1: Biogeography and Birds

DURING LECTURE: We covered some basics of biogeography including the definitions of biomes, dispersion, dispersal, distribution, home range, and territory as well as the factors that may drive the distribution of biomes, ecotypes, etc. We learned the biomes and ecotypes of Pennsylvania as well as the state's watersheds. We learned the biogeographic regions of the world and why they exist.

We defined microhabitat and habitat as well as arboreal, fossorial, terrestrial, and aquatic. 

We explored the types of dispersion, including random, clumped/aggregated, and uniform. and we learned how to calculate dispersion. 

We learned how to survey birds in the field including point counts, transects, and spot-mapping. We learned (and observed) mist-netting that the advantages and disadvantages of mist-netting compared to the aural methods. 

IN THE FIELD: We first went to the Penobscot Bike Trail at the Earth Conservancy in Newport Township, PA to view a shrubland habitat. There we used mist nets to capture a number of birds including a male Indigo Bunting, Common Yellowthroats, and a Empidonax flycatcher. We learned the songs of American Goldfinch, Grasshopper Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Yellow-breasted Chat,and Prairie Warbler

Next we stopped at Seven Tubs Natural Area in Wilkes-Barre to observe a forested habitat and there we heard Ovenbirds, Red-eyed Vireo, and Wood Thrush

Songs of birds are available through the USGS, Xeno-Canto, and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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