CLASS: Watching Birds: Identification, Life History, Behavior and More Fall 2021 (FULL)

Note: This class is currently full with a waitlist.

One of the great aspects of birding is that you can approach it from many different angles. You can casually observe birds when they cross your path. You can sit in your backyard and enjoy the birds coming to your feeders and bird baths. You can focus on identifying as many birds at a location as possible. You can watch birds and attempt to understand their behavior. Watching birds, with the goals of understanding what they are doing and better understanding how they live their lives, is the focus of this new Travis Audubon class.

In order to derstand a bird’s behavior, a variety of information is required. You need to take your identification skills further to determine the age and the sex of the bird(s) involved. You need to know some bird biology. You need to properly document the behavior you observed, and you need to research the available literature to see if the behavior you observed has been documented and explained. After all of this, maybe, you can interpret the behavior to understand why the bird was doing what it was doing. Even if you can’t explain the “why” behind the behavior, you will have a deeper connection to our amazing birds from having observed them going about their lives. This class will deepen your enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of birds. Although not absolutely required, the class will be most beneficial to those who can identify the common birds in the Austin area.

Shelia Hargis is the instructor for this class. She has been birding for 25 years and is totally obsessed with birds! She spends most of her free time birding or thinking about birds. Shelia gives presentations on a variety of bird topics, surveys birds for the City of Austin and the North American Breeding Bird Survey as well as private landowners, and regularly leads birding field trips. She is currently on the Commons Ford Prairie Committee and is Past President of both Travis Audubon and Texas Ornithological Society.

The class will be comprised of five, virtual classroom sessions and three field trips. The classroom sessions will be held via Zoom on Wednesday evenings, September 22 and 29 and October 6, 13, and 20 from 6:15 PM – 8:15 PM. The field trips will be held on October 3, 10, and 17 during the mornings.

Tuition is $95 for TAS members and $110 for non-members. Registration limited to 10.