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Birding for Beginners


Birding for Beginners

Nurture your love and knowledge of birds with a beginner’s birding class designed to connect you with the birding community and improve your skills in bird identification. We will spend quality time observing and discussing birds and their behavior, to build your understanding of the sights, sounds, behaviors, and natural history of a selection of our feathered friends.

This is a five-week class which will be divided into two sections: online on Thursday evenings and in-person field trips on Sundays. Classes will begin on April 14 and field trips begin on April 24 (see schedule below). During the online sessions we will discuss everything you’ll need to know about the locations of upcoming field trips as well as the species we will be trying to spot.

In the first class, we’ll talk about why we bird, and get into the tools and skills birders use to collect observations. In each subsequent class, we’ll talk about the places we’ll go, the species we’ll see, and why birds want to be there. Each participant will receive an optional “ID assignment” to perform in the field. Then everyone will pool their knowledge and observations in field trips. We’ll employ all of our senses to experience and record the birds in our midst, trying out methods on our phones, our notepads, our sketchbooks, and our memories.

We hope that in this class you’ll connect with nature and birds, with yourself, and with other birders. We welcome a diverse learning community. Let us know if you have access challenges and need assistance.

Binoculars are encouraged but we can start you with a loaner pair, and you should definitely have a notebook, and a smartphone if you use one. Carpooling will be encouraged, especially when the trips are not bike/transit-friendly.

Recording of the first session via Zoom will be available to class participants for a limited period of time.

Instructor: Jen Hajj and field trip leaders

Schedule of the Thursday Zoom Sessions:

  • Apr 14, 2022 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Apr 21, 2022 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Apr 28, 2022 6:30-7:30 pm
  • May 5, 2022 6:30-7:30 pm
  • May 12, 2022 6:30-7:30 pm
  • May 19, 2022 6:30-7:30 pm

Schedule of the Field Trip Sessions:

  • Apr 24, 2022 8-10 am
  • May 1, 2022 8-10 am
  • May 8, 2022  8-10 am
  • May 15, 2022 8-10 am
  • May 22, 2022 8-10 am

Limited to 16 participants.

To attend the entire course: $135 for SDAS members, $160 for non-members.

Questions can be sent to the course facilitator, Jen Hajj, at

Registration opens on April 1st, 2022. TO REGISTER: Go to the calendar item for the first online class on April 14 and register. You'll receive an where you will be able to make an online payment and you will then receive further instructions.


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