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Adult Classes

More online sessions will be listed as they are scheduled.


Current members of our local Seattle Audubon chapter receive a 20% discount on online classes as a benefit of annual membership. Please use code SASMEMBER at checkout.

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!

Introduction to Common Raptors of Western Washington with Hans deGrys
Monday, March 1 from 7:30-9:00pm
Raptors are a taxonomically diverse group of birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons. We will spend some time looking at the 12 or so most common raptors of Western Washington, focusing on identification using field marks and patterns of distribution and abundance. Photos, maps, and charts will be used to explore the physical appearance, distribution, and natural history of these majestic birds. This session is suitable for beginning and intermediate birders.

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 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. Students will learn basic photography skills and steps to generate creative stories to accompany their photos, as well as some beginner bird ID and bird conservation information. Gloria will also share a bit on the birds she has photographed, including their conservation status per Audubon. This class is aimed at beginners with some experience and other curious amateurs. Gloria is an amateur nature photographer who has taught classes and had her photography published in local media including the Seattle Times.

Bird’s Eye View: Living with volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest: How the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest create unique and changing habitat for birds with Gina Roberti
Friday, March 5 from 7:00-8:30pm
What distinguishes the Pacific Northwest from other regions in the United States? Our active volcanoes! Take a bird’s eye view and learn about how volcanoes create and shape the landscape in the active volcanic Cascades Range. Become acquainted with types of eruptions that are common in the Cascades and the mark that these eruptions leave on the landscape. Join Gina Roberti for an interactive presentation which will provide you the tools to observe and understand how volcanoes shape the landscape and result in dynamic and diverse habitat for birds.

Using satellite images and aerial photography, we will make observations of the major stratovolcanoes of the Cascades range and learn what to observe in the rock record that gives evidence of past eruptive processes. We will learn why the volcanoes in the Cascades produce certain types of landforms and distinct disturbance zones. Finally, we will discuss how birds make a home in these volcanic landscapes. Bring your questions and curiosities!

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.

An eruption of life: The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and the return of birds to a new landscape | Lessons from volcanic landscapes about the renewal and resilience of life with Gina Roberti
Friday, March 12 from 7:00-8:30pm
On May 18, 1980, a cataclysmic event occurred at Mount St. Helens as the north flank of the volcano slid off in one of the largest landslides in recorded history, unleashing a powerful eruption. This eruption buried 230 square miles of existing old-growth forest with hundreds of feet of volcanic debris. In some places closest to the crater of the volcano, almost no living organisms survived. Ash from the eruption blew across the United States and megatons of logs and volcanic debris clogged up rivers, lakes and streams. The eruption created a vastly different landscape and opportunity for new ecological communities to evolve. Mount St. Helens serves today as a living laboratory for the study of the renewal of life after disturbance.

Who could predict what would happen after a cataclysmic eruption? Learn about the May 18, 1980 eruption at Mount St. Helens and what scientists learned about the renewal of life in volcanic landscapes. We will learn about the different disturbance zones that were created by the 1980 eruption and the conditions that enabled life to return in these new environments. As ecological communities evolve, so do the birds that depend on them.  Join Gina Roberti for this interactive presentation which will share some of the insights learned from scientific study of the renewal of life in volcanic landscapes. Bring your questions and curiosities!

Observation Point: Birding at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument | A guide to birding in the diverse habitats and volcanic landforms around Mount St. Helens with Gina Roberti
Friday, March 19 from 7:00-8:30pm
When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, it was like uncorking a bottle of pressurized soda: ash, gas, rocks and steam exploded upward and across the landscape to the north of the mountain. The eruption buried over 230 square miles of existing forest around the volcano with volcanic debris. The eruption dramatically reshaped the landscape, creating a mosaic of habitat types that are now home to a diverse suite of birds.

In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was designated to protect the land closest to the volcano as a place for research, recreation and education. Today, home to more than 80 species of nesting birds, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument offers unique birding opportunities.

Join us as we take a tour through the diverse mosaic of habitats created by the 1980 eruption and learn about where to see some of Mount St. Helen’s signature birds. This interactive presentation will excite and prepare you for birdwatching in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Bring your questions and curiosities!

Who’s calling, please?  Introducing “birding by ear” with Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser
Mondays, March 22 & 29 from 7:00 to 8:30pm
Identifying birds by their songs and calls can transform both your everyday life and your birding experience.  This 2-part class is especially for folks who are just starting to recognize the sounds of birds in their neighborhood.  We’ll take a deep dive into the songs and calls of a few birds that are both common in Seattle and that have distinctive and diverse sounds.  With the goals that (1) you’ll come away having definitively mastered the sounds of at least one bird and (2) you’ll have a solid foundation of skills to learn the sounds of as many birds as you fancy.

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.

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.

Winter Waterfowl for Intermediate Birders with Connie Sidles
This class has finished. 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.
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).

Do Seattle Audubon members receive a discount on online classes?

Yes. Current members of our local Seattle Audubon chapter receive a 20% discount on online classes as a benefit of annual membership. Please use code SASMEMBER at checkout.

How do I use Zoom?

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

What is the master birder class about and when is the next master birder class series happening?

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.

I want to know more about IN PERSON classes.

To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions for IN PERSON classes, including helpful tips for finding class venues, click here.