Bewick’s Wren / Susan Holtz / Audubon Photography Awards

Home 9 Learn 9 Classes

Adult Classes

More online sessions will be listed as they are scheduled.

Winter Waterfowl for Intermediate Birders with Connie Sidles
This class is underway. Use the Register Now button to receive the class recordings.
Wednesdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27 & February 3* from 7:00-8:30pm
Everybody knows a Mallard, right? And Northern Shovelers are those guys with big bills, while Buffledheads are the little black-and-white ‘rubber duckies.” But do you *really* know your waterfowl, even the so-called easy ones? Can you identify each species by gender, in eclipse, in flight, and by voice? Western Washington is the winter home for more than three dozen different species of swans, geese, and ducks. As an intermediate birder, it’s possible to know them all, in all their guises. Let master birder Connie Sidles take you on a virtual journey through our state’s waterways to discover the ins and outs of our winter waterfowl. *Due to technical difficulty during the January 13 session, an additional week has been added to this series to ensure all content can be covered.

Birding 101 with Jane Lester & Jack Stephens
This class has finished. Use the Register Now button to receive the class recordings.
Thursdays, January 14 & 21 from 7:00-8:30pm
If you’re just getting started with birding, it’s natural to be a little overwhelmed. What are the little brown birds on my feeder? What are all those cool ducks we have in winter, and how can I tell them apart? I heard a woodpecker in the park – what kinds do we have in Seattle? Which birds live here year-round and which are just passing through? Once you learn how to find birds, observe them carefully and identify them, birding becomes a fabulous lifelong hobby that only gets better and better with time.

From Mountains to Molehills: An Introduction to the Mammals of Washington with Mike Donahue
Tuesdays, January 26 & February 2 (The latter being Groundhog Day!) from 7:00-9:00pm
This class will give an overview of the mammal diversity in the state, emphasizing the species most likely to be seen, their natural history, and where to see them. Mike recommends A Field Guide to Mammals of North America North of Mexico by Fiona Reid. Mike grew up in Washington State and has been seeking out mammals as well as birds over the last 40 years. In 2013 he did a Washington State mammal big year.

Who’s Watching You? with David B. Williams
Thursday, February 18 from 7:00-7:45pm
Do you ever have the feeling that you are being watched when you walk in downtown Seattle? You are probably right. Hundreds of eyes peer out from buildings in the city observing your every step. Neither human nor electronic, these ever-present watchers belong to dozens of carved and molded animals gazing out from Seattle buildings. Based on my book, Seattle Walks, this 1.5 mile virtual walk through Seattle’s central business district will reveal a menagerie of beasts fabled, fantastic, and fierce, including lions, eagles, ducks, pelicans, and walruses. No binoculars needed. Participants in this class will benefit most when they bring their full range of birding sensibilities – sensory awareness, observation of details, some understanding of the environment or ecosystem, and a readiness to be surprised.

Butterfly Gardening with David Droppers
Thursday, February 25 from 7:00-8:30pm
David will enthusiastically introduce you to the world of butterflies, and how inviting them into your backyard will reveal how they are connected to a number of other species of urban and suburban wildlife. Not only will participants learn about what plants to include in their garden to attract butterflies, but they will get a glimpse into butterfly biology – how they see the world, what additional resources they need, all centered on how to design your garden for maximum attraction. And remember, this is complementary to inviting birds to your yard – think of it as gardening for bird food! Watch your garden come alive with bloom and wings!

Tips on how to create a photo worth a thousand words with Gloria Z. Nagler
Wednesday, March 3 from 7:00-8:30pm
Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy stories! Photos of birds and other wildlife connect with us more powerfully and generate more empathy for the critters when the images tell a tale. In this class we will look at using one image or multiple images to yield a narrative of nature. We will not be emphasizing the technology of cameras but, instead, photographic techniques for creating nature’s stories with your own photos. This class is aimed at beginners with some experience and other curious amateurs,and is taught by Gloria Z. Nagler. Gloria is an amateur nature photographer. She has taught other classes and has had her photography published in local media including the Seattle Times.

Secrets of Seattle’s Botanical Past with David B. Williams
Thursday, March 11 from 7:00-7:45pm
If you asked early residents of Seattle which natural feature best symbolized the region, few would have hesitated in responding “Douglas firs.” These trees were everywhere, but they were not the only plants in the area.  In this virtual talk, I describe the pre-1850 botanical landscape of Seattle by examining modern clues, such as neighborhood names, big stumps, and big trees, that provide hints for telling this story and for showing the complexity and beauty of Seattle 150 years ago. Participants in this class will benefit most when they bring their full range of birding sensibilities – sensory awareness, observation of details, some understanding of the environment or ecosystem, and a readiness to be surprised.

Nesting and Nourishment: A Travel Through Washington’s Interdependent Birds and Trees with Brendan McGarry
April 12th and 26th from 7:00-9:00pm
Most of us have undoubtedly raised binoculars to follow birds through a nearby canopy, but how often do we consider the deep relationships and reliance many species of birds have on native trees? In many cases birds and trees are inextricably linked: conifer seed crops dictating finch populations and aspen groves as apartment blocks for cavity nesting species. Join in on this jaunt across the state and consider our many iconic tree species and the birds that live with, on, and in them.



Class Guidelines

Updated March 5, 2020, 10:00 a.m.

Public Health — Seattle & King County has released new proactive public health recommendations meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Seattle Audubon is responding to these latest recommendations with additional changes to our activities. We undertake these changes to reduce risks for the members of our community at higher risk of severe illness. We will continue to evaluate as new information becomes available.  (Resources are listed at the end of this document.)

Contact information for the relevant staff is listed for each activity, if you have further questions or concerns. Seattle Audubon is also following recommendations for employers and limiting staff who will work from the office. Through this challenging time in our community, we encourage everyone to act with kindness and compassion, and to support those in the community who most need our collective actions to help reduce the spread of this disease.

New Registration System Coming Soon!


  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go out in public when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue and wash your hands immediately afterward.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. If no soap is available, use a hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your face with unclean hands.

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.

  • New classes open for registration quarterly (March 1, June 1, Sept. 1, Dec.1); if the 1st of the quarter falls on a Sunday or a holiday registration will open the following day.
  • 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.

Master Birder Information

Seattle Audubon 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.

Do I register for each class separately?

Yes. Click on the Register Now button at the bottom of the class description to register for that class only.

Are classes recorded?

All online classes are recorded and links to view the recordings are emailed to registrants within a few days of the live class session. You do not need to let anyone know if you cannot attend the live session – you will receive the recording no matter what.

The online class sold out. Can I still view the class recording?

Yes. Use the Register Now button to purchase access to the class recording. Links to recordings can be found in the confirmation email that auto-sends when you register (check your junk and/or clutter boxes) if an online session has already happened, or will be emailed to you after the online session has finished.

How long are recordings available?

The class recording is available for one month past the live class session. If the class is a series of sessions (some classes have 2-4 sessions over a period of weeks), the recordings for all sessions in that series are available for one month past the last live class session date (e.g. if the last class in the series is on May 1, the recordings for the whole series will be available until June 1).

How do I use Zoom?

 If you have never used Zoom, check out this YouTube tutorial.