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 registraion 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.
Note: Class registration now happens online. Should using a computer be problematic, call The Nature Shop (206-523-4483) to register. Here's a visual for how to receive the member discount.
Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMember during check-out to receive the member discount
Birding By Ear - Learning NW Bird Voices with Bob Sundstrom, Professional Birding Tour Leader & BirdNote Lead Writer
This class has been cancelled. Current registrants will be contacted for a refund.
Nest Box Building with Dan McDougall-Treacy and Dave Wall
Lecture & Building: Wednesday April 10, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Northeast Seattle Tool Library (10228 Fischer PL. NE, Seattle, WA 98125)
Cost: $38 members, $53 non-member (includes cost of materials)
Limit: 10 (Kids welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must register.)
Placing a next box in your yard, garden spot, or communal outdoor space is an excellent way to provide birds a safe place to raise their young, and offers you a glimpse into bird nesting behavior. During this class we will discuss “why a box?” how to best deploy your box, and what to watch for when the birds show up. We will also discuss the essential seasonal tasks of caring for and cleaning your nest box. Each participant will then construct a next box, suitable for small songbird species (chickadee, wren), using provided premeasured and precut materials. No power tools will be used during class. Participants are welcome to bring their own materials if they have a particular design in mind, though this certainly is not expected or required. Children are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult, have registered for the class, and are able to manage the entire two-hour session. Appropriate for ALL levels of birders.
10 Gateway birds of Seattle and how to find them with Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser, Seattle Audubon Master Birder
Lecture: Thursday, April 18, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building, Room 3
Field Trip: (optional, to be organized during class) Saturday, April 20, 8:00am-TBD
Cost: $35 members, $50 non-members
Are you just beginning your life as a birder? Not sure where to go to see interesting birds? Or how to find them, once you get there? Using 10 (or so) charismatic birds found in Seattle as examples, we’ll explore resources you can use to plan your birding excursions. We’ll also talk through strategies for laying eyes on those feathered beauties and for then figuring out who you’re looking at. Taught by a Master Birder who is still discovering cool places to go birding. Appropriate for BEGINNER birders.
Intermediate Bird ID: Common Birds of Spring with Connie Sidles, author and Master Birder
Lectures: Thursdays, May 9, 16, 23, 30, 7:00-9:00pm
Field Trip: Two per student, sign-up in class: May 11 - Fill Big Day; May 18- Bottle Beach and Brady Loop; June 1- I-90/Cle Elum; June 8 – Ridgefield (+Optional Scavenger Hunt: May 25 at the Montlake Fill)
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center
Cost: $120 members, $135 non-members
Its spring, and birds are on the move. If you're an intermediate birder who wants to deepen your skills, then this class is for you. Together we will learn about the common migrants coming to and through Seattle in the spring: shorebirds, warblers, vireos, swifts, tanagers, and flycatchers. We'll learn songs, plumages, and natural history so you will really *know* these birds.
In addition to 4 classroom sessions, Connie will lead 4 field trips, where you can observe the birds studied in class. Participants are limited to 10 people per trip. We will record your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices during the first class and will figure out who is assigned to each field trip. We'll do our best to try to give everyone their 1st or 2nd choice, and we'll also try to give everyone two trips. Field trip transportation is by carpool, with gas expenses shared by passengers.
In addition to the field trips, all students may participate in a scavenger hunt, when we will divide into teams and search our area for targeted birds. It's a contest! Finally, all students are invited to join Connie on weekly Sunday shorebird counts at the Fill (not Seattle Audubon affiliated) and a once-a-month bird census of all birds at Montlake Fill. This is part of a 3-year study project to document the effects of WSDOT's mitigation plan at this site. Dates/times TBA. Appropriate for INTERMEDIATE birders.
Ongoing Winter Classes
Intermediate Bird ID: Common Birds of Late Winter & Early Spring with Connie Sidles, author and Master Birder
Lectures: Thursdays February 28, March 7, 14, and 21, 7:00-9:00pm
Field Trips: Two per student, sign-up in class: March 2 - Spencer Island/Everett area; March 9 - Gog-le-hi-tee and Tacoma area; March 16 - Whidbey Island; March 30 - Nisqually
Location: February 28 at the Wallingford Senior Center (at the Good Shepherd Center); March dates are at Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building Room 2
Cost: $120 members, $135 non-members
If you're an intermediate birder who wants to deepen your skills, then this class is for you. Together we will learn about the common birds in our area during each season. This particular season will be the end of winter and the beginning of spring. We'll focus on gulls, terns, and early returnees, including shrikes, swallows, hummingbirds, and thrushes, among others. We'll also study the winter residents that are preparing to leave us for the far north, including finches, longspurs, and other "little brown jobs." And we'll take a crack at identifying and understanding owls. We'll learn the birds' songs, plumages, and natural history so that you will truly *know* these birds.
In addition to four classroom sessions, Connie will lead several formal field trips where you can observe the birds studied in class. We'll also go on one scavenger hunt on March 23, when we will divide into teams and search our area for targeted birds. Connie will also lead informal field trips nearly every Sunday (March 3, 10, 17, 31), when she does her shorebird count (not Seattle Audubon affiliated) at Montlake Fill, one of the premier birding sites in the state, and documents species diversity. Who knows what the winter and spring will bring? Join Connie and find out. Appropriate for INTERMEDIATE birders.This class is full. To join the wait list, click the REGISTER FOR CLASSES button (above) and add the WAIT LIST option to your cart.
Principles of Flight with Connie Sidles, author and Master Birder
Lectures: Mondays, March 4, 11, and 18, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building Room 3
Field Trip: Saturday, April 6, rain date April 13
Cost: $85 members, $100 non-members
How do birds fly? What makes an airplane stay in the air? How and when did flight evolve? Join us as we explore the principles of flight in three classroom sessions and one field trip. The first class will be about the mechanics of flight, with hands-on experiments and a possible visit by the model airplane engineers who fly regularly at Marymoor. The second class will be an exploration of how birds fly, and the third class will be about the evolution of flight. The field trip will be a weather-dependent demonstration at the Marymoor model airplane field, where airplane enthusiasts will show off their flying techniques for us and tell us how mechanical flight imitates bird flight. Appropriate for ALL LEVELs of birders.