FULL: Be a Better Birder (B3) Class 2020

Are you ready to be a better birder? This intermediate-level class will focus on some of the bird identification conundrums that face the Texas birder. The class will focus on detailed identification of specific species. Flycatchers, swallows, meadowlarks, thrushes, vireos, orioles, tanagers, and other birds found in Texas which present identification problems will be addressed. The class will also include exercises and non-identification lectures designed to improve your birding skills and knowledge.

Warning! This class is not for the casual or beginner birder. It is designed for intermediate to advanced birders who want to further develop and sharpen their bird ID skills on specific species. Some of the identification discussions will be quite tedious, and if the student is not ready, they may not enjoy the class. For example, we will attempt to address the dreaded Empidonax flycatchers… in detail… for several hours… with exercises! If that sounds like fun to you, you’re in the right place. If, on the other hand, you’d rather drag your fingernails across chalkboards than listen to detailed lectures on those little gray jobs – we suggest you focus on other Travis Audubon classes.

The class consists of ten weekend meetings March – December 2020 (once per month) and six field trips (Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov, Dec). Classroom sessions will be held at local venues to be determined. Field trips will be held within about an hour drive of Austin. The class and field trip schedules are listed below.

Instructors: Jeff Patterson is a life-long birder and experienced instructor having taught the Travis Audubon birdsong and shorebird classes for a number of years. Eric Stager is also a life-long birder, veteran field trip leader, and experienced instructor. Virginia Rose is a birder of many years and a professional teacher for even longer.

Prerequisites: As mentioned above, a certain amount of birding experience is recommended prior to taking this class. Students should be able to identify from 75 to 100 Texas birds by sight or sound. Experience may have been gained through years of birding, other Travis Audubon Classes, and/or the Travis Audubon Master Birder Program.

In order to register for this course, you must:

Be a graduate of Travis Audubon’s Master Birder Program,
Be a Travis Audubon volunteer of at least 20 hours annually,
Receive pre-approval from the Travis Audubon office (based on your experience and prior knowledge). Contact caley@travisaudubon.org to request pre-approval.

To register for this course, please email caley@travisaudubon.org expressing your interest in the course and provide the prerequisite that qualifies you to register. If you are approved to take the course, you will receive a link to complete registration. The tuition for this course is $175 for Travis Audubon members and $200 for non-members.

Class and Field Trip Schedule:
3/28, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
3/29, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip
4/11, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip
4/12, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
5/16, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip
5/17, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
6/21, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
7/19, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
8/29, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
9/26, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
10/24, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
10/25, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip
11/7, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
11/8, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip
12/5, 8 AM – 12 PM: Class
12/6, 7 AM – 11 AM: Field Trip