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.


Birding By Ear

Oct. 16 through Nov. 22

This class is now full but you may register to get on the waiting list in case anyone cancels.

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, Birding By Ear – Fall Session Denise Wight,

  • Six Thursday evenings – Oct 16 –Nov.20 – 7- 8:30 pm
  • Six Saturday field trips, Oct. 18 – Nov 22 – 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Instructor: Denise Wight
  • Class is limited to 20 participants. Note: This class fills up almost immediately! Once it is full, we will have a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • Fee: $105 for GGAS members, $125 for non-members.
  • Location: Class takes place in the East Bay at the Ed Roberts Campus, directly across the street from Ashby BART. The venue is easily reachable for people coming from both the East Bay and San Francisco. Free parking behind the building. Click for directions.
  • Click HERE to register. 

Bay Area Waterbirds in Winter (New!)

Nov. 5 through Dec. 3

As of Sept. 5, there is one spot remaining in this class. After that, you may register to get on the waiting list.

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. We’ll introduce participants to sites not covered in other GGAS birding classes.

  • Four Wednesday evening classes: Nov. 5, 12, 19, and Dec 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Note: NO class during Thanksgiving week.
  • Four field trips on the following Sunday mornings: Nov. 9, 16, 23, Dec. 7.  Locations to be announced.
  • Fee: $75 for Golden Gate Audubon members; $95 for non-members.
  • Instructors: Linda Carloni  and Maureen Lahiff
  • Class is limited to 20 participants.
  • Location: Rhythmix Cultural Center, 2513 Blanding Avenue in Alameda.  Click here for map and directions.  A five-minute AC Transit ride from the Fruitvale BART station takes you over the Fruitvale Bridge and very close to our location.
  • Click HERE to register.


Birds of the Bay Area

Jan. 7 through Feb. 15

Explore the extraordinarily varied habitats of the Bay Area with two of the region’s most experienced birding instructors. Rusty Scalf and Bob Lewis will lead field trips to habitats including fresh and saltwater wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands savannah to study the avian denizens of these communities. Classroom sessions will help you prepare for and review the birds you encounter. Field trip locations can be found on

  • Six Wednesday evening lectures, from Jan. 7 through Feb. 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Six Saturday or Sunday field trips (your choice) on the weekends following each class.
  • The final field trip on Feb. 14/15 is an overnight trip. Participants should book their own motel rooms  for Saturday Nov. 14. Instructors will offer motel suggestions. Destination to be posted soon.
  • Fee: $105 for GGAS members, $125 for non-members.
  • Class is limited to 40 participants.
  • Location: Class takes place in the East Bay at the Ed Roberts Campus, directly across the street from Ashby BART. The venue is easily reachable for people coming from both the East Bay and San Francisco. Free parking behind the building. Click for directions.
  • Registration link and date coming soon.


Beginning Birding –  evening session

Jan. 12 through Feb. 9

Winter in the Bay Area means  an abundance of visiting shorebirds and waterfowl. 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 Jan. 12, 19, 26, and Feb. 2 and 9., 7 to 8:30 pm.
  • Four field trips of 2.5 hours on Saturday mornings – Jan. 17, 24, 31, and Feb. 7.
  • Limited to 16 participants. Then there will be a waiting list in case any participants drop out.
  • Fee: $85 for Golden Gate Audubon members, $105 for non-members.
  • Location: League of Women Voters office, across the hall from the GGAS office at 2530 San Pablo Avenue (at the corner of Blake) in Berkeley.
  • Registration link and date coming soon.

Advanced Beginning Birding 

Jan. 14 through Feb. 15

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.

  • Five classroom sessions on Wednesdays Jan. 14, 21, 29, and Feb 4 and 11, from 7 to 8:30 pm
  • Five field trips of 3+ hours on the Sunday mornings — Jan. 18 and 25, and Feb. 1, 8, and 15.
  • 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.
  • Location: League of Women Voters office, across the hall from the GGAS office at 2530 San Pablo Avenue (at the corner of Blake) in Berkeley.
  • Registration date and link coming soon.


California Raptors in Winter

Jan. 24 through Feb. 8

Relatively mild temperatures and productive food sources make California an ideal destination for raptors in winter. This class will focus on the amazing evolutionary adaptations and life histories of California’s hawks, eagles, harriers, kites, and falcons. Presentations include information specific to winter resident, migrant, and seldom-seen vagrant raptors. On three full-day field trips, we’ll have opportunities to view and focus on this order but won’t ignore the myriad of other birds that call California home during winter.

  • One class presentation on Saturday Jan. 24, followed by a field trip. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Three Sunday field trips on Jan. 25, and Feb. 1 and 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Instructor: Eddie Bartley.
  • Fee: $100 for GGAS members, $120 for non-members.
  • Limited to 20 participants.
  • Location: The first class meets at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory office (Marin Headlands, Fort Cronkite). Ample parking is available. The three Sunday field trips are to Point Reyes, San Mateo coast, and Sacramento Delta. Field trip meeting points will be announced in class, where carpooling can be coordinated.
  • Rain date of Feb. 15 and/or Feb. 22 if bad weather postpones field trips.
  • Registration link and date coming soon. For more information on the class, contact Eddie at or go to


Master Birder Class

Starting Feb. 5, meets monthly throughout 2015

Golden Gate Audubon Society and California Academy of Sciences will offer their third year-long Master Birder class, starting on Wednesday February 4, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.. The goals are to help 20 ambitious students enhance their birding and conservation skills, and to develop 20 new active volunteers for GGAS, the Academy, or other Bay Area institutions.

The Master Birding Program is an advanced year-long class that includes 11 class sessions and 11 field trips throughout 2015. Classes will take place on the first Wednesday of each month, with field trips on the following saturday. (No class or field trip in July.) Most classes will take place at the Academy of Sciences to take advantage of the Academy’s collections and facilities.

Field trips will be designed to reinforce class subject matter. Prior to taking the course, prospective students are expected to be able to identify California birds at an “intermediate level” (100 species by sight, and 25 species by sound).  To successfully complete the program, students must commit to volunteer at least 100 hours to any MB participating organization (GGAS, the Academy, and other Bay Area birding or conservation organizations to be specified later) over a two-year period, and participate in at least 70 percent of the classes and field trips.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will have developed a field notebook documenting sightings of over 200 bird species, will know how to identify the more difficult bird species and will have an understanding of habitats and bird communities, bird physiology, behavior and taxonomy.   S/he will have participated in over 20 organized field trips, developed a backyard (local patch) list, and will have made a 10-minute presentation to the class on an avian topic.  Other details of the course will be presented to interested candidates.

Instructors are Jack Dumbacher, Eddie Bartley and Bob Lewis. 

Registration information will be posted soon. If you have questions, contact Bob at


North American Owls

Feb 10 through 18 plus field trips

Owls fascinate most of us. Learn what makes owls different from other birds, how to identify them by sight and sound, and the basics of their habits and habitats. Classes will be illustrated with slides, and with sounds of these birds of the night. Field trips will take us to local owl habitats, where we’ll hope to hear and see some owls. Instructor Dave Quady ( is author of the Owls section of National Geographic’s Complete Birds of North America, and a frequent GGAS field trip leader

  • Four evening classroom sessions on Feb 10, 12, 17 and 18, from 7 to 9 pm.
  • Three weekend afternoon and/or evening field trips on Feb. 14, Feb. 21, and a date in March that is not yet determined. Trips will be re-scheduled in the event of poor weather for owling.
  • Location: Classroom sessions at the League of Women Voters office, across the hall from the Golden Gate Audubon office, 2530 San Pablo Avenue (at the corner of Blake) in Berkeley. Field trip locations will be announced during class.
  • Instructor: Dave Quady.
  • Fee: $100 for GGAS members, $120 for non-members.
  • Limited to 20 participants.
  • Registration link and date will be posted soon.


San Francisco Classes with Joe Morlan

Evening bird classes taught by Joe Morlan and endorsed by Golden Gate Audubon Society will be starting September 9 and 10, 2014. All classes meet 7-9:15 p.m. in room 218 at City College of San Francisco, John Adams Campus. 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 co-author 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 meets on Wednesdays. It is a continuing in-depth study of North American water birds including loons, grebes, and seabirds. Part A (EA110) starts September 10 and ends October 29 (no class 10/8); Part B (EA115) starts November 5 and ends December 17.
  • Field Ornithology III meets on Tuesdays. It is a continuing in-depth study of the identification and status of North American land birds including hummingbirds, woodpeckers and flycatchers. Part A (EA120) starts September 9 and ends October 28 (no class 10/7); Part B (EA125) starts Nov. 4 and ends December 16.

The instructor may arrange optional field trips on weekends. Please bring binoculars and field guides to class if you have them. Registration opens July 1st. Fees are $155 for seven week classes 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.

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.