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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. 

Each online class will include lectures and discussions with a panel of local birders. We’ll talk about why we bird, and we'll get into the tools and skills birders use to collect observations. 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. In field trips, we’ll employ all of our senses to experience and record the birds in our midst. In the end, you'll have about 100 new birds in your brain!

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 a must. We will have loaner pairs from GoSky for you to use during the class. 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 each Zoom session will be available to class participants for a limited period of time.

This course is offered twice per year. 

Fall Course- signup begins September 1, 2023
Thursday zoom sessions begin Sept 14 and end Oct 19
Sunday field trips begin Sept 24 and end Oct 22

Spring Course- signup begins April 1, 2024
Thursday zoom sessions begin April 11 and end 16
Sunday field trips begin April 21 and end May 19

Limited to 20 participants.

To attend the entire course: $150 per person

Are you an experienced birder or a passionate beginner who would like to join the leader team for this course? Are you interested in being a student? Questions can be sent to the course facilitator, Jen Hajj, at

Sponsored by GoSky Binoculars. Each participant will receive a pair of loaner binoculars to use during the class. Thanks, GoSky! 

Sign up opens on Sept 1 at 9:00 am.


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  • City of San Diego

  • County of San Diego
    County of San Diego
  • State Coastal Conservancy
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    SANDAg transnet logo
  • Malk Nature Fund
  • Coastkeeper
  • UCNRS logo
  • Americorps