Avian Field Identification for Use in Land Management (11:035:258)

Note: This syllabus is for general information about the course. The instructor will provide you with an updated syllabus specific for the semester of enrollment.

Course Description

1 Credit. Pass/No-credit grading. This course provides students with the basic foundation for field identification of birds. Sight, sound, habitat, and flight pattern are reviewed. Students learn the fundamentals of bird identification, natural history, preferred habitats, and expected timelines for various species along the Atlantic Flyway in New Jersey, and how bird identification plays into land management decisions.

Note: This course was previously designated 11:015:258

Required Text

The recommended field guide for this class is: Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North Amercia, Revised, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. The Sibley Guide to Birds of Eastern North America may be substituted. Other field guides require the approval of the instructor.

Students will also need binoculars and a field journal.

Basis for Grading

Students are assessed according to performance on exams, field trip participation and preparedness, quality and effort of work, timeliness in completing assignments, and class participation. Students are expected to work independently, and to give credit the course textbook or all other research materials used.


Typical topics include:

  • New Jersey's place on the Atlantic Flyway
  • Basics of birding
  • How to keep a field journal
  • How to enter data on eBird
  • How to identify birds
  • Habitat, Range, Abundance, Time of Year
  • Bird Conservation

Academic Integrity

As an academic community dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge, Rutgers University is committed to fostering an intellectual and ethical environment based on the principles of academic integrity. Academic integrity is essential to the success of the University's educational and research missions, and violations of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the entire academic community. This academic integrity policy is designed to guide students as they prepare assignments, take examinations, and perform the work necessary to complete their degree requirements.

Students are required to adhere to the professional standards outlined in the Rutgers University policies on academic integrity, which are available Policy on Academic Integrity (PDF) and at: Office of Student Judicial Affairs. http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/integrity.shtml.

Attendance and Participation Policy

Attendance is mandatory on both class field trips, no exceptions.

Students are expected to actively participate in all of the course activities, and are responsible for completion of all assigned readings, materials discussed and assignments on or before the assigned due date.

Accessibility at Rutgers

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. For a the full explanation of the process, go to Documentation Guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the registration form on the ODS website.