Distance Learning Classes

Portland Audubon classes spark curiosity, foster a deeper understanding of the natural world, and inspire people to protect native wildlife and their habitat. Classes are open to people of all skill levels and abilities, with a focus on natural history, regional conservation issues, the intersection of art and the environment, and of course, birds and wildlife.

We offer experiences both in the online classroom and in the field, with classes on bird identification, birding by ear, butterflies and dragonflies, nature-inspired art, mushrooming, plants, and more. When you take a class with Portland Audubon, you are supporting our work to protect wildlife, wild places, and humans alike.

Please register for each class that you would like to take.

Gulls in Winter

Instructor: John Rakestraw

This class will show you what to look for when identifying an unknown gull. Whether you bird along the coast, an inland river, or your local duck pond, you will soon be identifying gulls like a pro.

Gulls in Winter
  • October 27, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thayer's Gull, photo by John Rakestraw

Learn iNaturalist

Instructor: Stefan Schlick

Want to become a better naturalist? Plants, reptiles, insects, fish … this useful app has it all. There is no better learning tool than iNaturalist. Stefan will present and explain both the phone app and the iNaturalist website.

Learn to Use the Nature App, iNaturalist
  • October 28, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Rough-skinned Newt, photo by Rhett Wilkins

Winter Birding

Instructor: John Rakestraw

While all these little brown birds may look alike at first glance, this class will show you the differences in size, shape, color, and behavior that enable you to identify the different species.

Winter Sparrows
  • November 9, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Golden-crowned Sparrow, photo by Mick Thompson

Waterfowl for the Wildlife Watcher

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

Just in time for the return of millions of wintering waterfowl, this three-part series of standalone classes provides everything you need to know to understand and identify the multitude of different Oregon waterfowl. Each class is standalone and must be purchased separately.

Understanding Waterfowl
  • November 5, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Beginning Waterfowl Identification
  • November 12, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Advanced Waterfowl Identification
  • November 19, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Northern Pintail, photo by Mick Thompson

Virtual Birding

Instructor: Greg Baker

Greg documents and takes you through a day of birding Sauvie Island in November and December. Hone the essential skills of identifying birds by sight, sound, behavior, and habitat in this fun, interactive class. Each class is standalone and must be purchased separately.

November Virtual Birding on Sauvie Island
  • November 10, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
December Virtual Birding on Sauvie Island
  • December 7, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Snow Geese, photo by Scott Carpenter

Birding Oregon Hotspots

Instructor: John Rakestraw

John will go through the best birding places in Oregon. You’ll get detailed descriptions about the place and the exciting birds you can expect to see there. Each class is standalone and must be purchased separately.

Columbia Estuary
  • November 17, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Washington County Wetlands
  • December 10, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Buffleheads, photo by Mick Thompson

Birding for Beginners

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

This fun, informative four-part series covers what you need to know to start enjoying birds on your own, identifying them with confidence, and recording your observations in meaningful ways. Each class is standalone and must be purchased separately.

Introduction to Birding
  • November 24, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tools of the Trade
  • December 1, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
How to Identify Birds
  • December 8, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Recording Your Observations
  • December 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Belted Kingfisher, photo by Tara Lemezis

The Ecology of Feathers

Instructor: Candace Larson

Join Portland Audubon field biologist Candace Larson on a journey into the form and function of one of nature’s most versatile adaptations.

The Ecology of Feathers
  • December 16, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sooty Grouse feathers, photo by Rhett Wilkins

Deciphering Molt

Instructor: Candace Larson

Learn the when, where, why, and how of feather molt, the often confusing terminology of molt cycles, and the fascinating array of molt strategies used by birds in Oregon.

Deciphering Molt: The Basics
  • December 17, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Black-bellied Plover in molt, photo by Mick Thompson.

Coming soon! The New School of Birding

Instructors: Candace Larson and Dan van den Broek

Join expert birders and trip leaders, Candace and Dan, for a six-week course with classes and in-person field days that will take you on a riveting journey through the world of bird biology, field identification, and conservation. Through lectures, quizzes, helpful handouts, live interaction with your instructors, and extensive field time, you’ll build both your birding skills and gain a deeper understanding of what’s going on beneath all those feathers!

New School of Birding
  • Classes: Wednesdays (Jan 20-Feb 24), 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
  • Field Days: January 30, February 13, and February 27, 8:00 a.m. -1 p.m./3 p.m.
Anna's Hummingbird, photo by Mick Thompson