Ornithology is the name for the study of birds. Birds are studied to find out how they affect their environment and to monitor whether or not the environment is thriving.
The word "ornithology" has Greek roots. The literal meaning translates to "bird explanation." The study was first used to discover species and study a particular bird but the focus has since changed.
Because birds are a major part of the environment, watching their behavior and migration changes can help scientists determine how the area is growing and what niche the bird serves. There is proof that some form of ornithology has existed since prehistoric times.