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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.

 

New one-day class!

Basic Raptor ID and Fall Migration

Saturday, September 24

Don’t have time to take a multiple-week class? Come to this one-day class to learn the basics of raptor identification, and experience the area’s fall migration of hawks, falcons, eagles, and vultures!

This six-hour class will include a two-hour classroom presentation in the Marin Headlands and then a trip to Hawk Hill to view and put into practice some of the ID skills learned in the classroom. The lecture will focus on the basics so birders of all skill levels are welcomed.  We also have the option of listening to the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory hawk talk and banding demo that will be taking place on the hill. The classroom session will take place regardless of weather. If Hawk Hill is fogged out, we may be able to find another spot in the Headlands or re-schedule the field portion. Please bring binoculars, food (lunch), water, and sunscreen, and dress in layers.

Instructor Anne Ardillo has been a volunteer with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory for over 20 years and is a recent graduate of the GGAS Master Birding program.

  • One Saturday class on September 24, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Anne Ardillo
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $30 for GGAS members, $35 for non-members
  • Location: Building 1050 in the Marin Headlands. Click here for a Google map.
  • Registration will open at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday August 4. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Beginning Birdwatching

October 10 through November 19

Learn about birds during fall migration! 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. Note: You will need to own or borrow binoculars for this class, but they are not necessary until the first field trip.

  • Five Monday evening classes, October 10 to November 7 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five Saturday morning field trips, 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the weekend after each class. NOTE: No November 5 field trip but final field trip on November 19.
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 16 participants
  • $90 for GGAS 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.
  • Registration will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday August 17. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Advanced Beginning Birdwatching

October 12 through November 13

So you know how to tell a duck from a shorebird… but WHICH kind of shorebird? Advanced Beginning Birding will help you solidify your birding skills, understand the various bird families, and master tricky IDs. Enjoy field trips to a variety of East Bay birding hotspots and learn about citizen science (bird counting/monitoring) activities. This class will leave you confident and ready to take part in our Christmas Bird Count!
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.
  • Five Wednesday evening classes, October 12 to November 9; 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five three-hour field trips on the Sunday following each class, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 16 participants
  • $100 for GGAS members, $120 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.
  • Registration will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday August 17. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Migrant Treasure Hunt: Fall Migration

September 13 through October 8

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, 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 13, 20, 27, and October 4 —  7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Four Saturday field trips,  September 17 and 24, and October 1 and 8 — 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Instructor:  Juan-Carlos Solis
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $130 for GGAS members, $150 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.
  • Registration will open at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday August 4. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Birding By Ear 

September 22 through October 29

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.  The class will cover a wide variety of habitats. Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, www.denisewightbirds.com/.

  • Six Thursday evening classes, September 22 to October 27 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Six three-hour field trips on the Saturday following each class, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Instructor: Denise Wight
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $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.
  • Registration will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday August 4. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

New class in San Francisco!

Raptors of California: Fall Migrations

October 2 – 23

Fall migration is a time of raptor abundance in the Bay Area as many juvenile birds appear on their first wanderings from their natal grounds and adult birds relocate through our region from their breeding range to their winter range. 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 resident, migrant, and seldom-seen vagrant raptors. On four field trips, we’ll have opportunities to view and focus on raptor families but won’t ignore the many other birds that we will see.

Field trip meeting places will be announced in class, where carpooling can be coordinated. Inclement weather postpones field trips. For more information on the class, contact Eddie Bartley at eddie@naturetrip.com

Program schedule:

  • Three Thursday evening classes, October 6 through 20 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • First meeting on Sunday October 2, a Marin Headlands field trip. 9 a.m to noon. (Followed by an optional Golden Gate Raptor Observatory Hawk Talk and banding demonstration from noon – 1:30 PM.)
  • Three additional Sunday field trips, Oct. 9 through Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Instructor: Eddie Bartley, eddie@naturetrip.com
  • Limited to 15 participants
  • Location: 1699 Van Ness Ave. (at Sacramento St.) in San Francisco. Parking available – information on building access and transit choices will be provided to registrants.
  • $120 for GGAS members, $140 for non-members
  • Registration will open at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday August 17. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Birds of the Bay Area

October 4 through November 13

It’s fall and the shorebirds have returned!  Geese and cranes are in the Central Valley and hawks are in the air!  Join an enthusiastic group of birders to experience birding locations in our area while learning about bird ID and a variety of other bird-related topics. Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, www.wingbeats.org/.

  • Six Tuesday evening classes, October 4 through November 8 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five three-hour field trips on the Saturday or Sunday (your choice) following each class plus one weekend long field trip on Nov 12 – 13.
  • Instructors: Rusty Scalf and Bob Lewis
  • Limited to 40 participants
  • $130 for GGAS members, $150 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.
  • Registration will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday August 17. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Shorebirds and Waterbirds

November 2 through December 4

In autumn, the Bay Area’s astounding array of resident shore and water birds are joined by over half a million birds that 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 residents and winter visitors. Many locations in the Bay Area provide great opportunities to se e these birds close up and study their behavior.

  • Four Wednesday evening classes: November  2, 9, 16, (no class Thanksgiving week), and 30.  7 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Four field trips on Sunday mornings November 6. 13. 20, and December 4. Locations to be announced. The last trip will have options for 3/4 day.
  • Instructor: Maureen Lahiff, mlahiff@aol.com.
  • Limited to 20 participants.
  • $90 for Golden Gate Audubon members, $110 for non-members.
  • Location: Rhythmix Cultural Center, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda.  Click here for map and directions.
  • Registration will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday August 17. Check back here for the registration link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

San Francisco Classes with Joe Morlan

Evening bird classes taught by Joe Morlan and endorsed by Golden Gate Audubon Society will be starting September 27 and 28, 2016. 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,” past 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 28 through December 14. It is a continuing in-depth study of North American sandpipers.
  • Field Ornithology III (EA120) meets on Tuesdays September 27 through December 13 (no class 10/18). It is an in-depth study of North American warblers.

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 ($245 for EA120 which is 11 weeks) 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 (use Summer 2016 if Fall 2016 is not yet available), or mail or fax this registration form.

For additional information see the official City College Continuing Education site. Schedule and details for Spring 2016 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.