The Early Studies of Ornithology

Ornithology replicates its style in the history of biology. Its historic trends reflect the study of biology including the description, identification, and understanding the processes involved in the production of the patterns. During the early centuries, humans had already performed some study on birds. This indication was seen in the oldest Stone Age drawings from the earliest times. Around 80 species of bird bones were found in the excavation of an early Stone Age colony. Birds may have possibly been an important source of food during that time.

Cultures from around the world have different affluent vocabularies related to birds. Traditional bird names were given based on their behavioural activities. Poultry farming and falconry or hawking was already observed from early times in different part of the world. China and Egypt practised the artificial incubation of poultry eggs during (246 BC) and (400 BC) respectively. The Egyptians used bird symbols in hieroglyphs as a great pact of their knowledge in birds.

Many of the early written records present important information on past circulation of species. For example, Xenophon, a Greek historian, recorded a great quantity of Ostrich in Assyria and other remaining Ostrich races that can only be found in Africa. Some countries illustrated birds with great precision as part of their early art, like in China, Japan, Persia, and India.

Some early German and French scholars gather old works and carry out a new research on birds, including Guillaume Rondelet and Pierre Belon. Belon’s comparison of the human and bird skeleton is regarded as a landmark in comparative anatomy.