CLASS: Introduction to Birds and Birding Class, Fall 2017

Introduction to Birds and Birding
Classroom Sessions, Tuesdays 6:15 PM – 9:15 PM: Oct 31; Nov 7, 14, 28
Field Trips: Saturdays Nov 4, 11, 18; Dec 2 OR Sundays Nov 5, 12, 19; Dec 3
Members $95, Non-Members $110

Are you starting to notice birds and would like to know more about them? Have you been watching birds casually and would now like to take a more structured approach to learning more about them? Are you looking for a good excuse to get outside and connect with nature? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then the Introduction to Birds and Birding Class is possibly the class for you. The class is for those who want to take an active role in seeking out birds and learning to identify them. (If you’re interested in learning to ID the birds in your backyard but not interested in traveling to different locations to find birds, consider taking the Beginning Backyard Birding class offered by Travis Audubon instead of this class.) This class promises to transform your relationship to birds and start you down the road toward a life-long love and enjoyment of birds. Instruction will be provided during four classroom sessions and four field trips to popular birding locations around Austin. Field trips involve walking on mostly level ground for about a mile or so. Attendance at all the classroom sessions and all field trips is highly recommended.

The class will introduce students to a variety of bird and birding-related topics including: how to identify birds; field guides and binoculars; bird identification of many species of Central Texas birds; bird vocalizations; where to go birding in Central Texas; bird migration; and bird conservation. Tuition includes a copy of the newly released seventh edition of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, our “text book” for the class. All presentations and many other resources will be provided by access to a Google website, so a Google account will be necessary to get the full benefit from the class. No prior birding experience is necessary.

Shelia Hargis is the instructor for this class. She has been birding for over 20 years and loves birds! She spends most of her free time birding or thinking about birds and her passion and enthusiasm for birds and birding is infectious. Shelia gives presentations on a variety of bird topics, surveys birds for the City of Austin and the USGS Breeding Bird Survey as well as private landowners, regularly leads birding field trips, and is Past President of Travis Audubon. She is currently on the Travis Audubon Board of Directors and the Commons Ford Prairie Committee and is President of the Texas Ornithological Society.

This workshop is limited to 20 participants. The classroom sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings, October 31, November 7, 14 and 28 (6:15 – 9:15 PM) likely in a location near 38th St & Guadalupe St. The field trips will be held the following weekend. Half of the class will have their field trips on Saturday mornings, November 4, 11, 18 and December 2, and the other half of the class will have their field trips on Sunday mornings, November 5, 12, 19 and December 3. Make-up dates for field trips that get postponed due to weather will be December 9 and 10. Field trips will typically start around 7:30 AM and end between 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM.

Participants will need to bring paper and a pen to the classroom sessions. Binoculars, hats, sturdy closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and water are requirements for the field trips. There are a limited number of binoculars available for loan to students who don’t already have a pair. This is a great opportunity to try out several brands before purchasing your first official pair of birding binoculars.

This class fills up quickly, so register early. Tuition is $95 for TAS members and $110 for non-members. Registration is available online at If you have questions, contact Shelia at or at 512-294-0272.

Register Here for Class with Saturday Field Trips

Register Here for Class with Sunday Field Trips

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