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Classes

Improve your birding skills — or get started in birdwatching 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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Wild Birds of the Bay Area (Beginners/Intermediate)

September 6 through October 1

Join a fun and enthusiastic group in an introduction to many of the amazing birds that inhabit San Francisco, and discover the local habitats to find them. Presentations include colorful bird imagery, info on optics, ID techniques, physiology, field guides, and a little taxonomy. Fall is the most abundant time for birds so we should have many opportunities to meet resident birds as well as those returning from their northerly breeding range.

Carpooling and ride-sharing will be encouraged. Contact instructor for additional information: eddie@naturetrip.com

This class is now full. You may register below for the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

  • Four Wednesday evening classes, September 6 to September 27 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Three field trips, 9 a.m. to noon plus one six-hour field trip (Oct. 1) on Sundays following the classes.
  • Instructor: Eddie Bartley
  • Limited to 25 participants
  • $100 for GGAS members, $120 for non-members
  • Location: Fort Mason in San Francisco, Landmark Building C, Room C210
  • This class is now full. Click here to register for the waiting list.

 

Avian Treasure Hunt: Fall Migration

September 13 through October 7

This class will prepare you for the migrant treasure hunt and sharpen your birding skills by better understanding local bird distribution patterns in time and space during the Fall. We’ll review how seasonal changes in various Bay Area habitats influence the birds you’ll expect to find in the field, with a strong emphasis on birdsong and behaviour. You’ll get practical birding tips on what to look for throughout the seasons when “hunting” for migratory birds. 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.

This class is now full. You may sign up below for the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

  • Four Wednesday evening classes, September 13 through October 7 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Four six-hour field trips on the Saturday following each class, 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.
  • Click here to sign up for the waiting list.

 

Raptor ID in a Day

Sunday September 24 OR Sunday October 21

Don’t have time to take a multiple week class?  Then 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, followed by a trip to Hawk Hill to  put into practice 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; however, if Hawk Hill is fogged out, we may be able to find another spot in the Headlands or re-schedule the field portion.

This class is now full. You may register below for the waiting list.

  • Sunday, 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: Meet at Building 1050 on Mitchell Road in the Marin Headlands (Sausalito).
  • Click here to register for the waiting list for the September 24 class.

Due to popular demand, we added a second session of this class on Saturday, October 21, but it is also full. Click here to register for the waiting list for October 21.

 

Appreciating Birds: Journaling and Field Sketching

September 25 through October 28  

SPACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE IN THIS CLASS!

Learn to start and maintain a field journal, including field notes, sketches, observations, and individual reflections. We will discuss the Grinnell System as a starting point but developing a field journal system that works for each student is encouraged. Sketching both in and out of the field will be a large component of this course. In lectures, we will spend time going over sketching techniques that will be useful in the field, introduce you to some birds we may see during the field trips and talk about field journaling techniques as well as conservation issues. Field Trips will be fairly freeform. Their objectives are to give you an opportunity to work on and explore sketching in the field. We will start by sketching shore birds and wading birds and work our way to forest birds. A small, pocket sized field notebook, a larger field journal, binoculars, and pencils are required. colored pencils, watercolors, markers, field guides are recommended.

  • Five Monday evening lectures, September 25 to October 23 — 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Five three-hour field trips on the Saturday following each class, time and location to be determined
  • Instructor: Natasha Lowery
  • Limited to 20 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 sign up. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Birding by Ear

September 28 through November 4

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, http://www.denisewightbirds.com/.

This class is now full. You may sign up below for the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

  • Six Thursday evening classes, September 28 to November 2 — 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.
  • Click here to sign up.  Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list

 

Beginning Birdwatching

October 11 through November 11

Learn about birds during fall migration! This great introduction to birdwatching will teach you about the migrants and seasonal visitors, as well as year-round residents. Instructor Clay Anderson will familiarize you with the tools of the trade — binoculars, field guides, scopes, and the best local places to watch birds.  In Wednesday evening classroom sessions, he’ll introduce you to birds and their habitats. Then on the following Sunday, he’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.

This class is now full! You may sign up below for the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

  • Five Wednesday evening classes, October 11 to November 8 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five Sunday morning field trips, 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the weekend after each class.
  • Instructor: Clay Anderson
  • 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 sign up for the waiting list.

 

Birds of the Bay Area

October 10 through November 18 

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, http://www.wingbeats.org/.

This class is now full. You may sign up to be on the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

  • Six Tuesday evening classes, October 10 to November 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 Nov 18 – 19.
  • 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.
  • Click here to sign up for the waiting list.

 

City College of S.F. class with Joe Morlan

Longtime GGAS member Joe Morlan teaches birding classes at City College of San Francisco. This fall he is teaching:

  • Field Ornithology II (EA110) —  Wednesdays September 13 through November 29. It is a continuing in-depth study of North American terns, alcids and doves. Fees are $275 for the twelve-week class but there is a $15 discount if you pre-register at least a week early. 

More info on Joe’s class is at https://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/fall17.htm. Birding classes are also offered at a number of other local community colleges. If a Golden Gate Audubon birding class doesn’t fit your schedule, check a college near you.

 

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.