Content (Syllabus outline)

  • introduction to ornithology – importance, research fields, social research aspects (e.g. citizen science), influence of ornithological knowledge on society and science development
  • History of ornithology and historical ornithological themes
  • Bird flight
  • Migration and circadian and annual cycles
  • Bioacoustics of birds and territoriality
  • Mating strategies and breeding systems
  • Breeding biology (egg, types of bird nestlings, breeding strategies, reproductive success, habitat selection)
  • Population dynamics – natality, mortality, limitations
  • Biogeography of birds – distribution patterns, endemism, hybird zones, structure and dynamics of bird assemblages
  • Ecology of birds – ecological guilds, interspecific interactions, ecosystem role of birds, bioindicators
  • Avian conservation – threats, population trends, extinctions, documents of nature conservation related to birds, ornithologically important areas (EBA, IBA) and Natura 2000, examples from Slovenia
  • Ornithological methodology – methods of bird study, fundamentals of field and laboratory work, museum techniques, bird trapping and individual marking of birds (ringing, telemetry), population survey and population estrimations, calculating population trends


In seminar students prepare presentation of selected ornithological theme. At fieldwork exercises students are practically acquainted with some ornithological methods at important sites for birds in Slovenia.


Prerequisites for inclusion in the work:

· enrolment in the appropriate academic year


Recommended knowledge of basic biological sciences: systematic zoology of vertebrates, comparative anatomy of vertebrates, ethology, evolution, biogeography, and ecology, and also statistical knowledge.


Prerequisites for performing study obligations:


  • seminar presentation (paper and oral presentation)
  • field work report
  • option: original scientific paper from the field of ornithology at least accepted for publication (no field work report is needed, the positive exam score is increased for one score)