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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!

Introduction to eBird

Saturday, December 17

eBird — a real-time online checklist program created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon  — has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. eBird offers many great features for both beginning and experienced birders. You can use it to:

  • Find local birding hotspots.
  • Learn what species have been spotted there recently or during a particular season.
  • Identify locations where you’re likely to find a certain species.
  • Post your sightings online to share with others and contribute to citizen science.
  • Keep an online life list.
  • And more!!

In this class, Brian Sullivan will lead a bird walk at Heron’s Head Park, followed by an indoor session in the  EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park showing you how to use eBird. Bring binoculars and a smartphone so you can access eBird and enter your sightings.

Brian Sullivan has conducted fieldwork on birds throughout North America for the past 25 years. He is project leader for eBird (www.ebird.org) and photographic editor for the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He also served as photographic editor for the American Birding Association’s journal North American Birds from 2005-2013.

  • Saturday, December 17 from noon until 2:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Brian Sullivan.
  • Limited to 40 participants.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Location: EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, 32 Jennings Street in San Francisco.
  • This class is now FULL. Click here to register for the waiting list. 

 

Birds of the Bay Area

January 10 through February 19 

It’s winter! It might even rain! But ducks and shorebirds are wintering in the area.  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, http://www.wingbeats.org/.

  • Six Tuesday evening classes, Jan 10 to Feb 14; 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 Feb 18-19.
  • Instructors: Rusty Scalf and Bob Lewis
  • Limit 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.
  • Click here to register online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

Birding by Ear – Winter

January 12 through February 18

Birds communicate by making a variety of sounds all year long, even in the middle of winter. This class focuses on bird sounds heard at this time of year in our area. We will learn to locate and identify birds by chirps and calls as well as songs of some species that are now starting to sing.
Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, http://www.denisewightbirds.com/.

  • Six Thursday evening classes, Jan 12 to Feb 16; 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
  • Limit 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 for this class will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 7th.  Check back here for the link. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

Migrant Treasure Hunt – The Central Valley

January 19 to 28

Unlike other regions in California, the Central Valley is a hotspot for bird activity and diversity during the Winter. The Valley’s wetlands, grasslands and croplands alone host over 44 species of wintering and resident waterfowl and wading birds. Moreover, the area is home to about 21 species of raptors at this time of the year including bald eagles, merlins, burrowing owls, rough-legged and ferruginous hawks. Through this class you’ll get practical tips to find birds in the Central Valley with an emphasis on avian habitat selection, bird calls/song, and behavior. We’ll also discuss how water resources management in California and climate change are influencing avian diversity and distribution in the region. Naturalist Juan-Carlos Solis is founder of QuetzalAdventures.com and a biologist and educator for the Environmental Resources and Public Affairs Division at the Sonoma County Water Agency.

  • Two Thursday evening classes, Jan 19 and 26 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Two Saturday field trips to the valley, Jan 21 and 28.
  • Instructor: Juan-Carlos Solis
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $80 for GGAS members, $100 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 online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Beginning Birdwatching – Evening Session

February 27 to April 1

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, Feb 27 to Mar 27 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five Saturday morning field trips, 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the weekend after each class.
  • 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.
  • Click here to register online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Beginning Birdwatching – Daytime Session

February 28 to March 28

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 Tuesday morning classroom sessions, she’ll introduce you to different kinds of birds. Then in the afternoon, 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 Tuesday morning classes, Feb 28 to Mar 28 – 9:30 to 11 a.m.
  • Five Tuesday afternoon field trips, noon – 2:30 p.m. after each class.
  • 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. Parking is available in the garage under the building for $6/2 hours (enter from Woolsey), or park on neighborhood streets.
  • Click here to register online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Advanced Beginning Birdwatching

March 1 to April 2

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 be to East Bay woodland and grassland locations to see breeding birds.  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 Wednesday evening classes, March 1 to 29; 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.
  • Click here to register online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Birding by Ear – Early Spring

March 2 through April 8 

Spring! Birdsong is in the air. It’s a great time to learn birdsong. Get out early and learn them as the migrants arrive. Territories and pair bonds are being established, and birds are vocal. Learn why birds sing, and observe them in the field.
Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, http://www.denisewightbirds.com/.

  • Six Thursday evening classes, March 2 to April 6; 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
  • Limit 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 for this class will open in late January. Check back here for the date and the sign-up 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 January 31 and February 1, 2017. 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 February 1 through April 26. It is an in-depth study of North American gulls.
  • Field Ornithology III EA120) meets on Tuesdays January 31 through April 25. It is a continuing in-depth study of North American warblers and sparrows.

The instructor may arrange optional field trips on weekends. Please bring binoculars and field guides to class if you have them. Fees are $280 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.

 

 

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.