BIOL-11600 Biology of Birds
Fall 2011

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 - 10:50 am
Center for Natural Sciences 112

Kit Muma 
Center for Natural Sciences Rm. 158

Office hours in 
CNS 158
    Monday and Wednesday
  • 11:00 am and 4:00 pm
  • or by appointment outside of these hours

Required book: A Field Guide to the Birds of North America (or Eastern Region).  Acceptable books include: National Geographic, Sibley, Audubon, or Peterson.  You may also consider an electronic version such as birdJam ( ) or iBird ( ) available for iPods.

This course meets the general education science requirement (2a) of the School of Humanities and Sciences.  It does not count as a biology elective and is not intended for science majors.  Majors are advised to take Field Ornithology BIOL-28400.


In the course we will:


A midterm test will be given during the scheduled lecture period and will be based on previous lectures and assigned readings.  A final exam will be on Tues. Dec. 20th at 10:30 am in the Hill Center Gym.  The tests will have multiple choice and short-answer questions.  Bird identification quizzes will be given throughout the term at the beginning of lecture periods listed on the schedule.  Participation quizzes will be posted on-line on a regular basis and must be completed within a week of being posted.

A project relating to “Birds and Society” will be conducted independently by each student.  You will have a proposal approved by the instructor prior to working on the assignment.  The project must incorporate a scientific aspect.  Topics may include but are not limited to:


Specific General Education Goals and Assessment:



Final grade =  

Lecture final

Bird I.D quizzes 25%

Project 30%

Class participation  5%

100 %
*There are NO “extra credit” assignments.


 Grade Scale: A = 93-100,  A- = 90-92, B+ = 87-89, B = 83-86,  B- = 80-82,  C+  = 77-79,  C = 73-76,  C- = 70-72, D+ = 67-69,  D = 63-66,  D- = 60-62,  F < 60




The Undergraduate Handbook states the general policy that students are expected to attend classes and that they are responsible for all material even when absent. 


Standards of Academic Conduct:

These are outlined clearly in the student handbook.  “Academic honesty is a cornerstone of the mission of the College.  Unless it is otherwise stipulated, students may submit for evaluation only that work which is their own and that is submitted originally for a specific course”.  Please familiarize yourself with the definition of plagiarism.  Academic dishonesty can lead to a zero grade on that assignment, a failing grade in the course, academic code probation, suspension or expulsion from the College depending on the gravity of the violation and the decision of the judicial board.


Students with Disabilities:

“In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case by case basis.  Students must register with the Office of Academic Support Services (607-274-1005 TDD 607-274-7319, and provide appropriate documentation to the college before any academic adjustment will be provided.”   Students should schedule an appointment with the course instructors as soon as possible to discuss their individual needs.


Missed Quiz or Test:

A quiz or test missed during an un-excused absence will result in a zero grade.  For an unexpected absence (illness, death in the immediate family, accident), you must inform me before the test if at all possible.  You can phone me (607-274-3610) or the Biology Department (607-274‑3161) to leave a message or inform me via email (  Such notification does not guarantee my accepting your reason for absence, but failing to notify me guarantees you will not be excused.  You must follow up notification by coming to see me during office hours to discuss your circumstances.  Please make an appointment as soon as possible upon your return to classes after your absence.  Oversleeping, not being prepared or having assignments in other courses do not constitute valid excuses.  Tests may not be written earlier than scheduled on the syllabus.

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This page is maintained by Kit Muma and Nancy Pierce
Last modified: 7/20/11