The course introduce methods of study bird ecology and behavior. It focuses mainly on breeding season of birds. Students will be acquainted with several techniques that can be useful in the field and help to manage conservation projects. They will be acquainted with the ethical and legal aspects of working with birds in the field; with the risks associated with field work and the safety principles. At the end we will focus on some examples of the bird conservation management as well as the habitat management. A case study for the Middle Vistula River will be presented.
During exercises two field excursions along the Vistula River are planned (near Łomna and in Warsaw) to compare bird species diversity between country and urban landscapes.
1. The organization of classes. What is the breeding ecology of birds. Basic concepts of ecology and behavior of birds. Conservation issues for birds.
2. Methods of field work with birds – ethical and legal issues, safety in the field
3. Bird census or surveys – why do we count birds?
4. Biology and ecology of breeding birds - the methods of field research
5. Why and how do we catch birds, handling
6. Why do we band birds - metal rings and colour bands and other methods of individual marking
7. Why do we take blood, methods of collection and preservation
8. Diet and foraging – the methods of feeding ecology research
9. Habitat selection and nest-site selection – the methods of field research
10. Behavioural research of birds - what can we observed in the field?
11. Conservation management of endangered birds
12. Habitat management
13. Life in the colonies of gulls and terns
14. Active protection of gulls and terns at the middle Vistula River - a case study
15. Summary of the course