Birding Basics Class
May 3 @ 6:30 AM - 11:00 AM$105
Become a better birder! In this popular four-part class, you’ll develop a breadth of knowledge and skills to better appreciate Vermont’s common and not-so-common birdlife. Identify species from sight and sound by scrutinizing field marks and decoding birdsong. Understand avian ecology and interpret behavior by exploring a wide range of habitats and natural communities. Participate in Vermont bird conservation by immersing in local avian research programs. Whether you are a backyard birdwatcher ready to expand your knowledge, or a passionate naturalist seeking a fun new approach to field ornithology, this course is the perfect primer for better birding in Vermont.
This course meets four times, for a total of 20 hours of instruction.
Limited to 10 participants. Fee: $105/$115 NBNC members/non-members. This registration fee covers all four classes.
Class 1: Spring Sights and Songs
Sun, May 3 | 6:30 – 11 am
Our first class focuses on techniques for field identification by sight and sound. As we welcome early spring migratory songbirds back to the Green Mountains, we’ll decipher how to use field marks, flight pattern, behavior, and habitat as clues to identification. We’ll also explore different resources available for birders to learn and practice species identification.
Class 2: Ecology and Life History
Sun, May 17 | 6 am – 2 pm
Our second class will bring us to a variety of habitats across Vermont to meet a wide cross-section of local avifauna. We’ll explore wetlands, fields, forests, and lakes to see how various species overcome the challenges presented by different ecosystems. We’ll investigate the diets, foraging ecology, and predator-prey relationships of resident birds while we enjoy the species using our local natural areas as migratory stopovers.
Class 3: Forest Bird Monitoring
Sun, May 14 | 6 am – 10 am
Today we practice the skills gained in the first two sessions by participating in the Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring Program. Managed by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, this program is one of the continent’s oldest ongoing studies of forest bird population trends. Data collected by researchers and volunteers has greatly informed our modern understanding of forest bird health. We’ll survey our historic monitoring plots, discuss research protocols and citizen science in Vermont, and continue to explore bird biology and identification.
Class 4: Bird Banding
Sun, June 21 | 6 am – 10 am
Our final class brings us up close and personal with our local avifauna. North Branch Nature Center is a research site for the Institute for Bird Population’s MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding program. Join NBNC staff in this renowned research project that catches, tags, and releases breeding songbirds to better understand bird survival, distribution and breeding success. This morning is a rare opportunity to explore bird physiology and plumage with up-close specimens, and an immersion in hands-on bird research and conservation.
Cancellation Policy: We understand that incidents and emergencies arise that may force you to cancel your participation in this program. NBNC aims to be as flexible as possible in our refund policy, but a full refund cannot be guaranteed within 2 weeks of this program. If a cancellation occurs within this window, NBNC will attempt to fill the space from our wait list and provide a full refund.