Seattle Audubon advocates and organizes for cities where people and birds thrive.

Adult Classes


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

More online sessions will be listed soon - please check back!

Birding & the Quarantine: Maximizing your fun and relaxation with Thomas Bancroft, Ph.D.  
Wednesdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30, October 7 &14, 7:00-8:30pm  
$90 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
Is this quarantine starting to get to you? Are you watching birds out your windows and dreaming about what a birding trip might be like? Where might you go on your own during these Coronavirus times, and what might you find and identify? Well, this course will help, both now and as we head back to a healthier world. We will cover about 100 common species found in Washington, their identification, their songs, and where they live. 

This course will help you learn to identify by sight and song, birds in your Western Washington neighborhood, and learn a little about their ecology and breeding. We will provide information on where to go and what to look for in western Washington. We will also look at several places that support breeding & wintering birds along the I-90 corridor and in the Okanogan area. The likely species and possible stops will be discussed. 

Physiology of Owls / Owls of Washington with Jamie Acker
Thursday, September 10, 7:00- 9:00(ish)pm
$15 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
Participants in this class will learn about the special adaptations owls have that make them unique. They will also learn about the 14 species of Washington owls. Class will be a Zoom class with PowerPoint presentations, with opportunities for Q&A. This class is suitable for beginning and intermediate birders.

Birding by Ear (BBE) – Listening is an Act of Loving Birds with Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser
Mondays Sept 14, 21, 28, 7:00-8:15pm
$45 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
Identifying birds by their songs and calls can transform both your birding experience and your everyday life.  This 3-part class introduces “birding by ear” (BBE) – identifying birds by their vocalizations – focusing on careful and analytical listening.  
Session 1 - Using both non-North American Birds and Washington State birds, we’ll practice “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 why birds make sounds and what we can learn from listening to them.
Session 2 – Sonograms will be introduced as a tool to "see" differences between similar songs and calls, and we’ll practice the reality of trying to filter out the bird singing nearby in order to hear the one far away.
Session 3 – We’ll talk about the amazing variation in bird song, even within one species or one individual bird.  And we’ll put it all together, using the tools from Sessions 1 and 2 to practice distinguishing similar pairs of birds.
Appropriate for anyone who is new to BBE or wants to learn more. Note: this class is only offered as a 3-session package. All sessions will be recorded & shared with registrants.

Close-up critters in the time of COVID: Tips on bringing home better macro shots of our fellow critters and other garden denizens with Gloria Z. Nagler
Thursday, September 24, 7:00-8:30pm
$15 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
Strolling through urban gardens, noticing, and then capturing photographs of our colorful insects and blossoms, is a grand way to spend time during this pandemic. Gardens are rarely crowded and generally peaceful places to be. Macro photography is the art of making photographs of tiny creatures and blossoms that are the same size as the subject is in the real world (1:1 ratio is the goal).

My target audience for this class is beginners and near-beginners. We will talk about setting up your camera for macro photography, potential subjects, how you decide what to include in the frame, and more. This is not a hyper–technical class: not about how cameras work, but about how to capture a better macro photographs.

Vagrancy and Vagrants (as in, Vagrant Birds) with Matt Bartels 
Thursday, October 1, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  
$15 sliding scale fee; pay what you can* 
Where do Washington vagrants come from, why do they show up and are there strategies look for them? Join Matt Bartels, Secretary of the Washington Bird Records Committee, in a discussion of the rare birds that have made their way to Washington. What are the main methods that bring these unusual birds to our state? Do different species show up at different times? And where might you go to increase your odds of finding rare birds? We’ll cover frameworks for understanding vagrancy and look for patterns in arrivals of the rarest birds in the state. 

How to Identify Seabirds of Puget Sound with Joe Sweeney
Thursday, October 22 from 7:00-9:00pm
$15 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
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. Appropriate for BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE birders.

Intermediate ID'ing the Little Guys with Connie Sidles
Thursdays, October 29, November 5, 12, and 19 from 7:00-8:30pm
$60 sliding scale fee; pay what you can*
If you've been confused, amused, and otherwise disabused of the notion that you'll ever be able to identify the Little Brown Jobs (also known as Little Brown Birds) that populate so many of our Northwest habitats, have no worries. Master Birder and nature author Connie Sidles will take you through the 30+ most look-alike LBJs of Washington State in four classes that will tune you up for our fall migrants and winter residents. The sparrows, finches, longspurs, and buntings that have been busy raising young here and elsewhere will be showing up in numbers beginning in September. With the help of this class, you'll be ready and waiting to ID this challenging but rewarding group of birds.

Note: this class is only offered as a 4-session package. All sessions will be recorded & shared with registrants. Class recordings will be emailed to registrants after each session; access to the recordings will expire Sunday, November 22, 2020.

* If you are unable to pay a fee, please email Anna Murphy for a fee waiver code. Though the first couple of online classes were offered for free (with donation suggested), we need to Seattle Audubon to remain afloat while all of our in-person, revenue-generating classes cannot happen. We hope you understand.

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.


  • 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.

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.
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