Ornithology Badge

Ornithology is the study of birds. Birds are covered with feathers, warm-blooded and lay hard-shelled eggs. There are around 10,000 species of birds worldwide. Birds are a group that many scientists consider a sub-group of reptiles. Many North Carolina birds migrate to warmer, southern climates in the winter. The state bird of North Carolina is the Northern cardinal.

Ornithology Fun Fact

Birds’ sizes can vary greatly. The enormous California condor has a wingspan of 9 ½ feet while the bee hummingbird measures less than 3”.

More Ornithology Tips

Click on the resources below to learn more about birds.

Check out a video of our Ornithology Science Mentor, Andrew Lauglin, talking about birds and his job as an ornithologist!

Ornithology Challenge

To earn your Ornithology Field Badge you must submit 6 bird shares to your online account, complete one of the two Ornithology Challenges, and attend the Ornithology Season Summit on February 15th.

This year you may choose between two different challenges:

·      Create an account and submit an observation on the citizen science project, ebird.org. Send a screenshot of your observation to ecoexplore@ncarboretum.org


·      Study bird populations anywhere through Celebrate Urbans Birds at celebrateurbanbird.org. Submit a screenshot of your findings to ecoexplore@ncarboretum.org

The deadline for submitting your Ornithology Badge requirements is February 9th.

Andrew Laughlin, University of North Carolina, Asheville Ornithology Science Mentor

Andrew Laughlin is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies department at University of North Carolina Asheville, where he teaches Ecology & Field Biology, Avian Ecology & Conservation, Wildlife Ecology & Management, Urban Ecology, and other courses. He is most interested in how animals, especially birds, respond to environmental change. He and his students began a re-survey of the bird communities of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to document how birds are responding to hemlock removal and climate change. He received a Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans where he studied Tree Swallow migration and winter roosting ecology.