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.
Gull Identification Jamboree with Mike Donahue
Lectures: Tuesdays January 8 & 15, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
Field Trip: Saturday January 12
Cost Lectures and Field Trip: $70 members, $85 non-members
Cost Lectures Only: $45 members, $60 non-members
Gulls are a challenging group of birds to identify. As one gull class participant said, “Gulls are like flu shots, you should do them every year whether you want to or not.” Start the New Year off by tackling this group of birds you keep meaning to learn.
Two classroom sessions will cover identification of adults of all the gulls that regularly occur in Puget Sound in winter, with a few rarities thrown in. There will be a half day (8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.) field trip to visit several local gull hotspots on south Lake Washington. Expect to see 6-7 species of gulls. Appropriate for ALL audiences. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
Birding 101 with Jack Stephens, Jane Lester, & Jen Kunitsugu
Lectures: Thursdays January 17 and 24, 7:00-9:00p.m.
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building: Room 2 on 1/17, Room 6 on 1/24
Field Trip: Sundays January 20 or 27 (sign up at first lecture)
Cost: $65 members, $80 non-members
Limit: 22 (11 per field trip)
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.
Join us for an informal, fun-filled, innovative introduction to birds and birding. This hands-on class will incorporate sight, sound and habitat to create a holistic approach to learning. A local field trip will provide time in the field to see lots of birds, ask questions and sharpen your skills. Suitable for all levels of beginners, from armchair feeder-watchers to those who have spent some time in the field and would like to develop their identification skills. Appropriate for BEGINNER birders. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
Owls of Washington with Jamie Acker, owler, educator and researcher
Class: Sunday February 3 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Ryther Center
Field Trip: Sunday February 3 7:30-9:30pm at Discovery Park in Seattle*
Cost for lecture and field trip: $75 members, $90 nonmembers. (FULL)
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 a same-evening field trip in Discovery Park, where Barred Owls, Barn Owls and Northern Saw-whet Owls are likely, with other species possible. Participants will be responsible for providing their own transportation; options for carpooling can be organized at time of lecture. *Adults only on the field trip. Appropriate for ALL audiences. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount. The Field Trip is full. To join the wait list, click the REGISTER FOR CLASSES button (above) and add the WAIT LIST option to your cart.
Advocacy for birds and climate: what you can do with John Brosnan, Seattle Audubon Executive Director
Lecture: Tuesday, February 19, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: West Seattle Senior Center, Nelson Room
Cost: $10 members, $25 non-members
Join Seattle Audubon's Executive Director John Brosnan to learn about the state of birds in and around Seattle, the latest climate science, and simple tools that you can use to engage in effective environmental advocacy. John brings 20 years of experience working in the conservation world ranging from landscape-scale land protection, habitat restoration, and natural resources management.
The class will explore how Seattle Audubon is working to understand and protect the region's birds, as well as review the current state of climate science and a variety of strategies and tactics to successfully move conservation initiatives forward. Topics covered will include advocacy tools, persuasive messaging, and simple things you can do to influence policy in your community. The instruction will be a mixture of traditional lecture, reviewing written materials, and active participation and discussion. Appropriate for ALL audiences. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
Restorative Movement for Birders with Laura Houston, Nutritious Movement Certified Restorative Exercise
Lecture: Thursday February 21, 7:00-9:00p.m.
Location: Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, Fireside Room
Cost: $30 members, $45 non-members
When you're bird watching, does your body send 'move!' signals in the form of a sore back, neck, or feet when you are trying to remain still, are bent over a spotting scope or are looking up into the canopy for that elusive Pacific slope flycatcher? Learn some exercises and moves that help alleviate those pains! Learn to make small microadjustments for a happier, healthier body!
We'll cover your body head to toe and you'll learn tricks and tips for 'better body birding.' This is available to anyone, no matter your age or physical conditions (includes modifications should you need them). We all have a body - learn how to live happier in yours! Since 2006 Laura has helped hundreds of people learn the ways of their own bodies, and given them tools to help heal themselves, empowering them to move more joyfully through life. Appropriate for ALL audiences. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
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.Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
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 audiences. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.
Birding by Ear (BBE) – Listening is an Act of Loving Birds with Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser, Master Birder class of 2017
Lectures: Wednesdays, March 6 and 13, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Brick Building Room 31
Field Trip: (optional) Sunday, March 10, 8:00am – 10:00 am, Seward Park
Cost: $ 60 members, $75 non-members
Identifying birds by their songs and calls can transform both your birding experience and your everyday life. Using both non-North-American birds and Washington State birds, this class will include a discussion and practice in "parsing" bird song - analyzing the different characteristics of a song (e.g. rhythm, tone quality) - to help with recognition and identification. We’ll talk about what’s understood about why birds make sounds and what we can learn from listening to them. Sonograms will be introduced as a tool to "see" differences between similar songs and calls. The class includes an optional field trip to Seward Park in south Seattle, where most of the birds are so high in the canopy that you can’t see them anyway – a great chance to practice listening! Appropriate for anyone who is new to BBE or wants to learn more. Seattle Audubon members enter promo code SASMEMBER during registration to receive the member discount.