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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.

Beginning Birdwatching – Late Spring

April 17 to May 20

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, April 17 to May 15 – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five Saturday morning field trips, 8:30 to 11 a.m. on the weekend after each class.
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 16 participants
  • $90 for GGAS members, $110 for non-members
  • Location: Osher C, 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 a waiting list.

 

Advanced Beginning Birdwatching — Late Spring

April 19 to May 21

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, April 19 to May 17; 7 to 8:30 PM
  • Five three-hour field trips on the Sunday following each class, 8:30 to 11:30 AM
  • Instructor: Anne Hoff
  • Limited to 16 participants
  • $100 for GGAS members, $120 for non-members
  • Location: Osher C, 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 a waiting list.

 

Birding by Ear – Late Spring

April 27 – June 3 

Oh my, song is in full force. From the morning chorus to the evening roosting, birds are singing, reinforcing pair bonds, defending territories, and just keeping track of one another. It’s a wonderful time to be in the field and improve your birdsong knowledge. Join Denise in class and in the field.

Field trip locations can be found on the instructor’s website, http://www.denisewightbirds.com/.

  • Six Thursday evening classes, April 27 to June 1; 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.
  • This class is now full. You may click here to register for the waiting list.

 

New class!

Appreciating Birds: Journaling and Field Sketching

April 11 – May 14 

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 we encourage each student to develop a field journal system that works for her or him. 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 free-form. 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 Tuesday evening lectures, April 11 – May 9; 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Five three-hour field trips on the Sunday following each class, TBA
  • Instructor: Natasha Lowery
  • Limited to 20 participants
  • $100 for GGAS members, $120 for non-member
  • Location:  Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby BART in Berkeley. Osher-C classroom. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • Click here to register. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

Migrant Treasure Hunt: Spring Migration

April 13 – May 6

Sharpen your birding skills this spring by better understanding bird behavior and migrant bird ecology and distribution patterns in time and space. Through this three-week class, you’ll get practical birding tips on what to look for when “hunting” for migratory birds and vagrants, with a strong emphasis on birdsong, bird calls and bird behavior. At the end of this course you’ll be better prepared to find local migrant and vagrant birds with confidence.

  • Three Thursday evening classes, April 13, 20, and May 4;  7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Three six-hour Saturday field trips, April 15, 22 and May 6
  • Instructor:  Juan-Carlos Solis, www.QuetzalAdventures.com
  • Limited to 20 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. Korea Boardroom. Free parking in the lot behind the center.
  • Click here to register. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list.

 

SUMMER CLASSES IN THE SIERRA

Birds of the Sierra, Sessions 1 and 2

Two sessions of the popular class “Birds of the Sierra” will be offered again this year. Both will be held at and near Yuba Pass, between Sierra City and Sierraville. Classes include six half-day field trips to different habitats in Sierra Valley and its surroundings, as well as a lecture and dinner at SFSU’s Sierra Campus in Bassetts.

Birds we may see include many Sierra specialties: Swainson’s Hawk, Sandhill Crane, White-headed and Lewis’s Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Calliope Hummingbird, Empidonax flycatchers, Mountain Chickadee, Mountain Bluebird, Sage Thrasher, MacGillivray’s and Hermit Warbler, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee and Brewer’s and Vesper Sparrow.

  • Birds of the Sierra I, taught by Rusty Scalf and Bob Lewis, meets from 3 p.m. Thursday June 1st to noon on Sunday June 4th.
  • Birds of the Sierra II, taught by Eddie Bartley and Bob Lewis, meets from 3 p.m. Thursday June 8th to noon on Sunday June 11th.

Each class is limited to 25 people. The fee of $165 (or $185 for non-GGAS members)  includes one dinner. Room and other meals are not included in the fee. A more detailed itinerary will be sent upon registration. Questions? Email Bob Lewis at bob@wingbeats.org.

Click here to register for Session 1 (June 1st through 4th).

Session 2 is now full. You may click here to register for the waiting list in case of cancellations.

 

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.