I want a PHD in ornithology (birds!)

Obtaining a Ph.D. in ornithology involves several steps and a significant commitment of time and effort. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Undergraduate Education: Begin by earning a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology, zoology, ecology, wildlife biology, or environmental science. It’s essential to take courses in ornithology, ecology, genetics, and other relevant subjects during your undergraduate studies.
  2. Gain Research Experience: To stand out as a strong candidate for Ph.D. programs, participate in research projects related to ornithology. Seek out internships, volunteer opportunities, or research assistant positions with professors or research institutions studying birds.
  3. Develop a Research Interest: During your undergraduate years and early research experiences, identify a specific area of ornithology that you’re passionate about and would like to explore further in your Ph.D. studies. This will become the focus of your doctoral research.
  4. Graduate Programs: Research potential universities and professors that have expertise in your chosen area of ornithology. Look for institutions with strong ornithology departments or ecology and wildlife biology programs.
  5. Graduate Admission: Apply to Ph.D. programs in ornithology or related fields. Admissions typically require transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose outlining your research interests, and standardized test scores (e.g., GRE). Each university will have its specific admission requirements, so be sure to check them carefully.
  6. Coursework and Exams: Once accepted into a Ph.D. program, you will undertake coursework in your chosen field to build your knowledge base. Additionally, you may need to pass qualifying exams to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter.
  7. Research Proposal: Develop a research proposal outlining the specific questions you want to address in your ornithological research. This proposal will be presented to your faculty advisors and possibly a review committee for approval.
  8. Conduct Research: After approval of your research proposal, you will spend several years conducting original research, collecting data, and analyzing results.
  9. Dissertation: Once your research is complete, you’ll write a dissertation presenting your findings and their significance to the field of ornithology.
  10. Defense: Defend your dissertation before a committee of faculty members, demonstrating your expertise in the area and the quality of your research.
  11. Graduation: Upon successful defense and completion of all requirements, you will be awarded a Ph.D. in ornithology or a related field.

Throughout this process, collaboration with professors and other researchers, attending conferences, and publishing papers in scientific journals will enhance your expertise and networking opportunities within the ornithology community.

Remember, pursuing a Ph.D. requires dedication, resilience, and passion for scientific inquiry. It is a challenging but rewarding journey that allows you to contribute to the understanding and conservation of avian species.

And NOW for some interesting facts about lorikeets, kookaburras, cockatoos, and cockatiels in Australia:


  1. Lorikeets are colorful parrots native to Australia, and there are several species, including the Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, and Purple-crowned Lorikeet.
  2. They have a specialized brush-like tongue that allows them to feed on nectar from flowers, making them important pollinators in Australian ecosystems.
  3. Lorikeets are highly social birds and often form large flocks, creating stunning displays of color in the sky.
  4. Apart from nectar, they also eat fruits, pollen, and some insects, displaying a varied diet.
  5. Some lorikeets are known for their playful and cheeky behavior, making them popular as pets among bird enthusiasts.



  1. Kookaburras are famous for their distinctive laughing call, which sounds like human laughter. This call is used to establish territory and communicate with other members of their family group.
  2. The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest member of the kingfisher family and is known for its powerful beak, which it uses to catch and eat small animals, including insects, reptiles, and even small birds and mammals.
  3. Kookaburras are monogamous and often mate for life, forming tight-knit family groups.
  4. They are found throughout eastern and southwestern Australia and are considered iconic birds in Australian culture and folklore.
  5. Despite their fierce hunting abilities, kookaburras are also known to accept handouts from humans and can become quite tame in picnic areas and campgrounds.


  1. Cockatoos are members of the parrot family and are known for their distinctive crest on the top of their heads, which they can raise and lower depending on their mood.
  2. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is one of the most well-known species, with its striking white plumage and bright yellow crest.
  3. Cockatoos are highly intelligent birds and are skilled at problem-solving and using tools.
  4. They are also known for their loud calls and vocalizations, which can be heard over long distances.
  5. In Australia, cockatoos can sometimes be considered pests, as they can cause damage to crops and buildings.


  1. Cockatiels are a smaller species of parrot and are widespread in the wild across Australia.
  2. They are known for their charming and friendly nature, making them popular as pets worldwide.
  3. Male cockatiels often display a vibrant yellow face and a distinctive orange cheek patch, while females have more subdued coloration.
  4. In the wild, cockatiels feed on seeds, fruits, and vegetation, and they are often seen in flocks.
  5. Cockatiels are highly social birds and require plenty of interaction and mental stimulation when kept as pets.

These unique and diverse bird species play important roles in Australia’s ecosystems and have captured the fascination of people around the world. Their stunning appearances, intelligent behaviors, and charming personalities make them beloved subjects of study and admiration.