Ornithology Lab

Emily Thomas in ornithology lab (photo by Steve Williams)

Emily Thomas, graduate student in wildlife and fisheries science.

Students in Margaret Brittingham’s Ornithology Lab (WFS 406) spent a morning at The Arboretum at Penn State learning how mist netting works to trap birds. Mist netting allows researchers to capture and band birds before they are released. The course gives students the opportunity to identify common Pennsylvania birds by both sight and sound in the lab and in the field. Students also learn to describe the distribution and abundance of Pennsylvania birds within the state and gain a basic understanding of taxonomy and life history traits for selected families of Pennsylvania birds. The class visits a range of locations during the semester so students can study birds in various environments. WFS 406 is part of the curriculum for the wildlife and fisheries science undergraduate program. For more information, visit the School of Forest Resources Web site at

View pictures of students in the class