Birding can be great fun but frustrating until you become familiar with the local avifauna and learn the skills that expert birders use. We will kick-start your abilities by covering the techniques that experts use to separate and narrow their identifications. Size and shape, color patterns, behavior, habitat, and sounds all play a key role in helping to identify species. Our focus will be on the common birds likely to be found in Western Washington during the spring and early summer.
Slides and field trips will allow you to practice these skills. We will spend time on bird songs, too. We will cover the hardest birds early in the course so there will be lots of time for review.
Flycatchers, Woodpeckers, Vireos, Jays, Swallows, Chickadees, Wrens
Thrushes, Starlings, Waxwings, Finches, Sparrows, Warblers, Blackbirds
Waterbirds: Ducks, Coots, Grebes, Ducks, Geese, Swans, Cormorants
Gulls, terns, shorebirds, Hawks, Falcons, Eagles, Vultures
The goal is to help you learn 100 species that you might see in Western Washington during a trip to a local park, wetland, or natural area.
Thomas will offer several walks at local parks. Morning field trips will go to Foster Island-UW Arboretum, Union Bay-Montlake Fill, Marymoor Park, and Stillwater Wildlife Area. We will plan one all day field trip to the Grays Harbor area to look for shorebird as well as land birds.