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. All genders, races, and abilities are welcome.
To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions, including helpful tips for finding class venues, click here.
Visit the Master Birder page to learn more about that two-semester program.
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). Here's a visual for how to receive the member discount.
FALL 2018 CLASSES
Intermediate Bird ID: Common Birds of Fall
with Connie Sidles, author and Master Birder
Lecture: Thursdays, October 18, 25 and November 1, 8, 7:15-9:15pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building Room 2
Field Trip: See note below. All field trip sign-up and organization will happen in class.
Cost: $120 members, $135 non-members
If you're an intermediate birder seeking to deepen your birding skills, then this class is for you. Master Birder Connie Sidles introduces you to the birds of fall: the first class will cover wrens, tits, sparrows, finches; the second class will cover waterfowl; the third class will cover raptors; and the fourth class will cover seabirds. Class time is important for this course, but time in the field lies at the heart of what we offer. You will have opportunities to go on two all-day or half-day trips, and optional hours-long walks every week from Oct. 21 through Dec. 8. Our trips are all designed for easy walking, with carpooling and shared expenses for the away trips. Appropriate for INTERMEDIATE birders This class is FULL. To join the wait list, click Register Now and "purchase" (this is free) a wait list "ticket."
Note on Field Trips: This class offers multiple opportunities to spend time in the field with Connie. Connie will lead several formal field trips where you can observe the birds studied in class, as well as organize a scavenger hunt, when we will divide into teams and search our area for targeted birds. Connie also invites you along with her informally to help conduct shorebird surveys and to conduct a bird census of the Montlake Fill.
• Formal field trips (two trips per student; signups during first class): Oct. 20: Montlake Fill (half day), Nov. 3: Skagit Flats (all day), Nov. 17: Alki (half day), Dec. 1: Puget Sound Seabird Survey (specific site tbd) Dec. 8: Vashon (all day)
• Scavenger hunt: Nov. 10
• Montlake bird monthly census (optional; no signups required): Oct. 28, Nov. 25, Dec. 30,
• Montlake Fill shorebird counts in the morning (optional; no signups required): Oct. 21, Nov. 4, Nov. 18, Dec. 2, Dec. 9
How to Identify Sea Birds of Puget Sound
with Joe Sweeney, Seattle Audubon Field Trip Leader and Master Birder
Lecture: Tuesday, October 30, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building Room 3 (on hold for Room 6)
Field Trip: Saturday, November 3 or 10 (sign up for one of the two dates when you come to class) to the Edmonds Pier or other suitable viewing spot along Puget Sound
Cost: $40 members, $55 non-members
Identifying the birds that inhabit Puget Sound can be challenging. To the untrained eye, those small, fast-moving birds that fly low over the water tend to all look the same. In this class, you will discover how to separate a Rhinoceros Auklet from a Pigeon Guillemot, a Double-crested Cormorant from a Brandt’s Cormorant, a Horned Grebe from a Red-necked Grebe, and a Common Loon from a Pacific Loon. We will also discuss diving ducks (including mergansers, scoters and goldeneye) and gulls. We will examine photos of the species mentioned above (and more), and discuss the flight characteristics, field marks and behavioral differences that can help us unravel the identification mysteries of the birds of the Sound. No prior experience with seabirds is necessary. All that is required is a desire to learn and a sense of adventure. A sense of humor wouldn’t hurt, either. Enter promo code SASMEMBER at checkout to receive member pricing. Appropriate for BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE birders
Introduction to Gulls and Terns of the Pacific Northwest
with Hans de Grys, Chemistry Teacher at Lakeside School, Master Birder, Recipient – MIT’s Inspirational Teacher Award
Lecture: Tuesday, December 4, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Lakeside School, Allen-Gates Bldg, Room 104
Cost: $30 members, $45 non-members
Identifying gulls can be one of the most intimidating tasks for beginning birders. We will spend the evening exploring the clues that make gull ID possible (and even fun?). The class will also look individually at the 15 or so most common gulls and terns of Washington, and practice separating them using field marks and other clues. The focus will be primarily on adult gulls, but we will dabble a bit into immature plumages and common gull hybrids of the Seattle area. Enter promo code SASMEMBER at checkout to receive member pricing. Appropriate for BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE birders