Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.


Adult Classes

A variety of classes on birding and natural history are taught throughout the year by qualified instructors who are experts in their respective fields.  Classes support the Seattle Audubon mission of appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats. 

To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.  

Visit the Master Birder page to learn more about that two-semester program. 


Spring 2018 CLASSES

Identification of Common Conifers of Seattle with Van Bobbitt, Horticulture Instructor and Arboretum Coordinator at South Seattle Community College
Lecture: Saturday May 26, 9:00am-12:30pm
Location: Wedgwood Presbyterian Church
Cost: $45 members, $60 non-members
Limit: 25
Conifer trees dominate both the natural and urban landscapes of the Puget Sound region. Learn to identify common conifers—native and exotic—using a simple botanical key. Then observe these conifers in the SAS native plant garden and the surrounding neighborhood. Students will be provided with several handouts to help them identify conifers. Students should dress for the weather—since part of the class will take place outdoors.  A small hand lens may be a helpful tool to bring to class.  Appropriate for all birding levels.

Register HERE



Summer classes will open for registration at 10am on June 1, 2018

Note: registration for all classes going forward will be online only.  Should using a computer pose a barrier to participation, call The Nature Shop (206-523-4483)

Intermediate Birding: Early and Late Summer with Connie Sidles, author and Master Birder
Lectures: June 14, 21, August 30, September 6, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center
Field Trips: June 23 or September 8 (trip organization will happen during the first lecture)
Cost:  $120 members, $135 non-members
Limit: 20

If you're an intermediate-level birder seeking to deepen your birding skills, then this class is for you. Master birder Connie Sidles introduces you to the birds of early summer: wrens, tits, waders, terns, and desert little brown jobs. Late summer birds include woodpeckers, blackbirds, and juvenile shorebirds. As in previous Intermediate Birding classes, Connie will offer multiple walk options at the Montlake Fill; a scavenger hunt at Montlake Fill on June 30; and a choice of one trip farther afield (participants can choose to go either to Potholes on June 23, or to Loop Loop/Wenatchee September 8; trip sign-ups will occur during the first class session).  Field trip travel is by carpool, with shared carpool expenses. Appropriate for intermediate level birders.


Owls of Washington with Jamie Acker, owler, educator and researcher
Class: Saturday July 14th 12:00-3:00 PM
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center
Field Trips: Saturday July 14th 6:30PM-12:00AM
Cost for lecture and field trip: $75 members, $90 nonmembers.
Cost for lecture only: $50 members, $65 nonmembers.
Limit:  10 for lecture and field trip, 30 for lecture only.  Adults only on the field trip.

Participants in this class will learn many intriguing facts about the 14 species of NW owls. You will also be introduced to the art of owling via a multimedia presentation and lecture.
At time of registration participants may opt for an early morning field trip to Bainbridge Island, where Barred Owls and Northern Saw-whet owls should be found and other species are possible. Participants will be responsible for providing their own transportation; options for carpooling can be organized at time of lecture. Appropriate for all birding levels.

Field trip directions: Take the 6:30PM Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry Saturday evening, and meet the instructor on Bainbridge Island. (Limit on field trip is based on limiting the number of vehicles to 3. I can accommodate 2 participants in my car, and the two other vehicles should carry 4 each.) Return to Seattle on the midnight ferry (or possibly on the 2:30AM ferry if the owls cooperate). 


Pelagic Birding with Mike Donahue, Gull Expert and Pelagic Guide
Lectures: Wednesdays, July 18th and 25th, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Wedgwood Presbyterian Church
Field Trip: Optional, see note below
Cost:  $60 members, $75 non-members
Limit: 40 for the lecture

Pelagic means “of the open sea,” and the west coast of North America offers some of the best opportunities to see seabirds anywhere in the world. The rich waters 20-40 miles offshore support a diversity of species—albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and jaegers—that spend much of the year in the waters far offshore at the edge of the continental shelf. If you’ve heard about pelagic birding and want to spend some time looking at those pages in your field guide you always skip over, this is the class for you.

The class lectures will cover the diversity of seabirds that are found offshore, focusing on natural history and identification, as well as how to prepare for a pelagic trip.  Then practice what you have learned on a pelagic trip that departs from Westport, WA.  Appropriate for all birding levels.

Optional field trip with instructor:  Mike will be co-leading pelagic trips with Westport Seabirds on August 25. Register directly with Westport Seabirds if you’d like to go on this trip. Westport Seabirds offers trips on other dates as well. Registration and other information is available at:  www.westportseabirds.com


Vagrancy with Matt Bartels
Lectures: Thursday, August 2, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: TBD
Cost:  $30 members, $45 non-members
Limit: 25

Where do Washington vagrants come from, why do they show up and are there strategies look for them? Join Matt Bartels, Secretary of the Washington Bird Records Committee, in a discussion of the rare birds that have made their way to Washington. What are the main methods that bring these unusual birds to our state? Do different species show up at different times? And where might you go to increase your odds of finding rare birds? We’ll cover frameworks for understanding vagrancy and look for patterns in arrivals of the rarest birds in the state. Appropriate for all birding levels.

Shorebirds with Hans deGrys
Lectures: Monday, August 20, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Lakeside School, Allen-Gates Building, Room 104
Cost:  $30 members, $45 non-members
Limit: 24

During late summer and early fall, dozens of species of sandpipers, plovers, and other shorebirds pass through Washington on their way to their southern wintering grounds. Their varying plumages, habits, and morphologies make them an interesting and challenging group for birders. This class will focus on the identification, behavior, and natural history of this diverse collection of birds. Appropriate for beginning and intermediate level birders.

Master Birder Information

Seattle Audubon also offers a Master Birder Program, a two-semester course and education-for-service program focusing on the identification and natural history of Washington's birds. Offered every other year, participants benefit from an intensive study of Northwest birds and serve as valuable resources for Seattle Audubon and the community.

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.