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Classes

Improve your birding skills — or get started in bird-watching with some friendly, expert help! Golden Gate Audubon offers classes for all levels of birding experience. Please register for our classes online (easy and fast). If you don’t have access to a computer, call our office at (510) 843-2222 and we will return your call as soon as possible.

CANCELLATION POLICY: As a small organization with limited office staff, it is challenging for us to handle last-minute cancellations. If you need to cancel, we will refund your registration fee if :

(1) You withdraw more than two weeks before the start of the class, AND
(2) We can fill your spot with someone from the class waiting list.

Please note that there will be a $5 cancellation fee to cover the credit card transaction costs for your sign-up and cancellation.

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New class:

Migrant Treasure Hunting:

September 15 through October 6, plus field trips

Prepare for the migrant treasure hunt and sharpen your birding skills by better understanding local bird distribution patterns in time and space. Through this four-week advanced class called “Migrant Treasure Hunting: A Bird’s (Not a Birder’s) Point of View”, we’ll review how seasonal changes in various Bay Area habitats influence the birds you’ll expect to find in the field, particularly migrants and vagrants. You’ll get practical birding tips on what to look for throughout the seasons when “hunting” for migratory birds with an emphasis on bird behavior, birdsong and bird calls. At the end of this course you’ll be better prepared to find local migrant and vagrant birds with confidence. Moreover, the principles you’ll learn regarding bird distribution in relation to seasonal changes and habitats apply to any place you may explore around the world.

  • Four Tuesday evening classes, September 15 through October 6, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Four Saturday field trips, September 19 through October 10, from 8:30 to  11:30 a.m.
  • Instructor: Juan-Carlos Solis
  • Limited to 15 participants
  • $90 for GGAS members, $110 for non-members
  • League of Women Voters office, across the hall from the Golden Gate Audubon office at 2530 San Pablo Avenue (at Derby) in Berkeley. On-street parking.
  • This class is now FULL. Click here to join a waiting list in case there are cancellations.

Beginning Birding — evening session

September 21 through October 19, plus field trips 

Fall in the Bay Area means the return of wintering shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as stopovers by thousands of migrating birds. This great introduction to bird-watching will teach you about the migrants and seasonal visitors, as well as year-round residents. Instructor Anne Hoff will familiarize you with the tools of the trade — binoculars, field guides, scopes, and the best local places to watch birds.  In Monday evening classroom sessions, she’ll introduce you to different kinds of birds. Then on the following Saturday, she’ll help you spot them in the field! No prior birding experience required.

  • Five classroom sessions on Monday evenings September 21 through October 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five field trips on the Saturday mornings after each class — from September 26 through October 24, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 15 participants. Then there will be a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • Fee: $95 for Golden Gate Audubon members, $115 for non-members.
  • Location: Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • Click here to register for the EVENING session of Beginning Birding. Once the class is full, you may register to be on the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

 

Beginning Birding — daytime session

September 24 through October 22, plus field trips 

Fall in the Bay Area means the return of wintering shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as stopovers by thousands of migrating birds. This great introduction to bird-watching will teach you about the migrants and seasonal visitors, as well as year-round residents. Instructor Anne Hoff will familiarize you with the tools of the trade — binoculars, field guides, scopes, and the best local places to watch birds.  In Thursday morning classes, she’ll introduce you to different kinds of birds. Then after a break for lunch, she’ll help you spot them in the field! No prior birding experience required.

  • Four Thursday morning classes on September 24 and October 1, 8 and 22, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. (Note there is NO class on October 15)
  • Five Thursday field trips. Four will be on class days from noon until 2:30 p.m., and the fifth will be on October 15.
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 15 participants. Then there will be a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • Fee: $90 for Golden Gate Audubon members, $110 for non-members.
  • Location: Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • This class is now FULL. Click here to register for the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

 

Advanced Beginning Birding 

September 23 through October 21, plus field trips

The Advanced Beginning class is geared to people who have already taken our Beginning Birding class, OR who have birded once a month (on average) for at least a year. Participants must have and use binoculars confidently. Field trips will take you to five counties, including bayside, Delta and fresh water locations. This class will help you understand the various bird families and master tricky IDs, and will also introduce you to citizen science (bird counting/monitoring) activities. Classroom sessions on Wednesday evenings will be followed by field trips on Sundays.

  • Five classroom sessions on Wednesdays, September 23 through October 21,  from 7 to 8:30 pm
  • Five field trips  on the Sunday mornings after each class — September 27 through October 25, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Limited to 16 participants.  Then there will be a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Fee: $100 for Golden Gate Audubon members, $120 for non-members.
  • Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • Click here to register for ADVANCED BEGINNING birding. Once the class is full, you may register to be on the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

 

Birding By Ear – fall session

October 1 through November 5, plus field trips

Fall is a less vocal time of year for birds, providing a good opportunity to study common local species and their sounds, as well as cover basic tips for birding by ear in fall and winter. Each session will cover a wide variety of habitats. Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, http://www.denisewightbirds.com/.

  • Six Thursday evenings, October 1 through November 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Six Saturday field trips, October 3 through November 7,  three hours in the morning
  • Instructor: Denise Wight
  • Limited to 20 participants. Then there will be a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • $110 for GGAS members, $130 for non-members
  • Location: Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • This class is now full! It filled up immediately.  You may click here to be placed on a waiting list in case there are cancellations.

Birds of the Bay Area 

October 13 through November 17, plus field trips

Shorebirds are back, winter residents arrive in the regional parks, and the Central Valley fills with geese, swans and cranes. Raptors cross the skies. Join a very fun group of birders as we explore places to bird in the Bay Area and beyond.

  • Six TUESDAY evening classes, October 13 through November 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five three-hour field trips either Saturday or Sunday morning (your choice) following the class, times to be announced. The sixth field trip is weekend-long, November 21-22.
  • Instructors: Rusty Scalf and Bob Lewis
  • Limited to 40 people.
  • $120 for GGAS members, $140 for non-members
  • Location: Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • Click here to register. Once the class is full, you may register to be on the wITING LIST.

 

Waterbirds in Fall 

November 4 through December 2, plus field trips

In autumn, the Bay Area’s astounding array of resident shore and water birds are joined by over half a million birds who have bred in the north, some stopping to rest and refuel on their way further south, others coming to spend the winter here. This class will assist beginners and advanced beginners in sharpening their ID skills. Learning about what the birds eat, how they feed and their travel patterns will enhance your appreciation and your ID of both our residents and our winter visitors. Many locations in the Bay Area provide great opportunities to see these birds close up and study their behavior.

  • Four Wednesday evenings, November 4, 11, 18,  and December 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There is no class Thanksgiving week.
  • Four Sunday morning field trips: Nov. 8, 15, 22, December 6.  Locations to be announced.   (The last trip may have options for ¾ day.)
  • Instructors: Linda Carloni and Maureen Lahiff
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $90 for GGAS members, $110 for non-members
  • Location: Rhythmix Cultural Center, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda.  Click here for map and directions.
  • Online registration will open on Wednesday September 9. Check here for the link.

San Francisco Classes with Joe Morlan

Evening bird classes taught by Joe Morlan and endorsed by Golden Gate Audubon Society will be starting September 8 and 9, 2015. All classes meet 7-9:15 p.m. in room 218 at City College of San Francisco, John Adams Center. Free parking is in the school lot adjacent to the building at 1860 Hayes Street. If the lot is full, additional parking may be available. See class calendars for details.

The instructor is coauthor of “Birds of San Francisco and the Bay Area” and “Birds of Northern California.” He is also coordinator of the recorded “Northern California Birdbox,” Chair of the California Bird Records Committee, and winner of the 2010 Ludlow Griscom Award for contributions to regional ornithology. Slides illustrate all lectures, and the text for all classes is “A Field Guide to Birds of North America,” sixth edition, by the National Geographic Society. “The Sibley Guide to Birds” is recommended as an adjunct text for both classes. Ornithology I will not be offered this semester.

  • Field Ornithology II (EA110) meets on Wednesdays September 9 through December 16 (No class 9/30, 11/4, 11/11). It is an in-depth study of North American Raptors including vultures, kites, hawks, eagles and falcons. .
  • Field Ornithology III EA120) meets on Tuesdays September 8 through December 15 (No class 9/29, 11/3, 11/10). It is a continuing in-depth study of North American land birds including larks, swallows, chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, kinglets and gnatcatchers.

The instructor may arrange optional field trips on weekends. Please bring binoculars and field guides to class if you have them. Fees are $265 for each twelve week class but there is a $15 discount for each class if you pre-register at least a week early. For further information call (415) 561-1860. You can register online, or mail or fax this registration form.

For additional information see the official City College Continuing Education site. Schedule and details for Fall 2014 are available here.

What’s even more fun than taking one of our birding classes?

Taking it with a friend! Invite a birding buddy to register with you.