One semester of college-level biology or equivalent; background in ornithology or vertebrate biology is recommended, but not required.
Cornell students: Biology & Society majors, this course fulfills the (II) Foundation Courses > (C) Biology Foundation > Biological Diversity requirement.
NOTE REGARDING 2021 COURSE SHEDULE: The first two days of Field Ornithology (May 26 and 27) will be remote, with synchronous and asynchronous class time. Students arrive on Appledore May 28 for the start of the field portion of the course (May 28 - June 9).
ALL STUDENTS: See the Financial Support & Scholarships page for details about a course-specific award which can be applied towards the cost of enrolling in Field Ornithology and other select SML courses for summer 2021.
CORNELL STUDENTS: There is an additional need-based scholarship available for Cornell students enrolling in Field Ornithology.
Explore the diverse and abundant seabirds and migratory songbirds of the Isles of Shoals as you gain an understanding of avian ecology, anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Students share the island with nesting Common Eiders, Herring Gulls, and Great Black-backed Gulls. Compile a species list during the course of some 100+ different species often observed during the 2 week course! Field techniques include field identification, bird banding, and various census methods. Students will spend time each day at the Appledore Island Migration Banding Station and visit the Tern Conservation Program on White & Seavey Islands.
Students taking this course will:
- Be able to identify songbirds and seabirds living and migrating through the Isles of Shoals;
- Learn common ornithological field methods (e.g., bird banding, point counts, nest monitoring, etc.);
- Understand the conservation challenges facing bird populations
"I was fascinated by birds from an extremely young age, but unable to adequately pursue my passion until I took this class...I have never been so excited to step onto an island in my life, nor so unhappy to leave one. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." - Emily Waldman (SML' 15, Cornell '16)
Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Loyola Marymount University
Dr. Covino has been a part of ornithological research on Appledore Island since 2003 when she began volunteering at the Appledore Island Migration Station (AIMS). She has returned to Appledore Island nearly every year since then while conducting her undergraduate, Master’s thesis and PhD thesis research on migratory songbirds. Recently, Dr. Covino was elected to the Wilson Ornithological Society council.
Mary Everett has been working with the long-term "Gulls of Appledore" banding & research project since 2015. In 2017, she and Dr. Sarah Courchesne took over the project from founder Dr. Julie Ellis. Mary’s research interests are primarily in mapping and geospatial statistics; she will be starting her MS in GIS in 2020. She currently holds degrees in Biology and Environmental Science, and is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
- Field Ornithology students can find additional course information on Dr. Kovino's personal webpage.
- Appledore Island gull population research was featured in Living Bird magazine, summer 2016 issue.
- Check out this Shoals flickr set, taken by student Mitch Walters during Field Ornithology 2009.
- Read about UNH alumni, Justin Stilwell '11 and Lindsay Moulton '15, studying the gulls of Appledore Island