Ornithology is the study of birds. Alberta has a rich, diverse bird life with over 400 recorded species, including about 250 breeding species. The high species diversity results in part from the meeting of three distinctive natural regions (Boreal Forest, Grasslands and Rocky Mountains) in Alberta, each with characteristic bird species.
The eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains is an area of marked variability, as distinct eastern and western forms of numerous species come into contact and hybridize there. The evolutionary and taxonomic consequences of contact remain an exciting area of ornithological research.
Bird exhibits are a popular feature of the galleries of the Royal Alberta Museum.