Universität Wien
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300499 VO Voices of Austrian birds (2020S)

Introduction to the songs and calls of Austrian birds

1.00 ECTS (1.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: German

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Because of the recent developments in the course of the spread of the Corona-virus the lecture will not be held on the premises of the university for the time being. Instead a moodle-course is offered, the learning material for the different lecture-units will be uploaded step by step (course-language is german)

Wednesday 11.03. 17:15 - 18:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 18.03. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 25.03. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 01.04. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 22.04. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 13.05. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 27.05. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 17.06. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3
Wednesday 24.06. 17:15 - 19:00 Seminarraum 3


Aims, contents and method of the course

The main aim is to present the most important bird sounds of Austria. Participants get the ability to identify the songs and calls of birds in Austria, mainly of widespread and common species but also to identify the voices of several species of conservation importance (threatened or protected species), to distinguish them from other species and to analyse the meaning of the different calls. They have a basic knowledge to draw upon and to expand efficiently during future own field studies. From that they are able to record birds quantitatively eg by point resp. transect counts or territory mapping in the course of mapping projects or monitoring studies.
Bird species that are common and widespread in Austria or interesting from a conservation point of view are presented during two-hour lectures. At the beginning an overview is given on function and structure of bird songs and calls, basic issues of sound generation, outside factors influencing bird sounds (biotop acoustics), singing activity and song development. The main part of the lecture is made up by the presentation of roughly 100 bird species. Main emphasis lies on their songs and calls, including instrumental sounds. Additionally information on their habitat needs, distribution, migratory behaviour and morphological characteristics is given. The sequence of species is guided by the song phenology of different species groups on the one hand and by the selection of species to be expected during accompanying excursions on the other.
Songs and calls are presented by means of recordings. Additionally the most important characteristics of those bird sounds are described verbally. Plumage details and other morphological characteristics are explained with the aid of photographs of all species presented. The participation in the specialised excursions (LV-Nr 300050) for exercising the identification in the field is highly recommended.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written or oral exam: 16 bird sounds have to be identified (for non-german-native speakers it is also possible to give english or french bird names)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Knowledge of the songs of common and widespread species but also striking sounds of species of conservation interest.
16 examples of songs and calls of different bird species are presented at the exam. At least eight correct answers (species names) are necessary for a positive assessment.

Examination topics

The voices of the approximately 100 bird species that are dealt with in the course of the lecture constitute the examination topics.

Reading list

A list of useful references including sound recordings is distributed at the beginning of the course.

Association in the course directory

UF BU 10, MZO W-2, UF MA BU 01, UF MA BU 04

Last modified: Th 23.02.2023 00:26