What an ornithologist does and what they study


An ornithologist is first and foremost a scientist. Therefore, the basis of his professional activity is research based on observations. The work is mostly desk-based – short-term seasonal expeditions are replaced by long-term analysis of the collected information. The specialist studies species and individual populations of wild birds, investigates different aspects of their life in certain areas. The range of responsibilities largely depends on qualifications (professional or amateur), on experience, direction and place of work.

What an ornithologist does as a scientist:

  • Gathers information about birds during expeditions, mainly by observation.
  • Analyzes the collected data, identifies patterns and trends, determines the features of the anatomical structure, life activity and reproduction of a particular species of birds.
  • Determines the population size and the risk of its extinction in a given area.
  • Studies the behavior of birds in certain situations.
  • Systematizes data on specific species and discovers new ones, describing their features, traits, habits, behavior.
  • Tracks migration, analyzes the survival rate of birds during migration cycles.
  • Initiates and implements protection of rare and endangered species.

The specialist can also be active in public activities, initiate the adoption of regulations or decisions on the protection of certain species of birds in the regions, or throughout the country. Many ornithologists implement programs for the conservation of bird populations or devote their lives to independent work on their revival.