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.

*Classes are virtual, with the exception of Field Classes, or otherwise noted.

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

If you have a question regarding an upcoming program or registration issue, please check our FAQs below or email classes@audubonportland.org.


The Joy of Feeding Birds

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

Join us for a primer on the how, what, and why of feeding birds.

The Joy of Feeding Birds
  • January 18, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. *FULL*
Steller's Jay, photo by Mick Thompson

All About Raptors

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

Learn about birds of prey, with a focus on raptors we can find in the winter months.

Understanding Raptors
  • January 25, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Winter Raptors
  • January 28, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Peregrine Falcon by Mick Thompson

Birds of a Feather: An Intro to Avian Species

Instructors: Greg Smith and Erin Law

There are around 10,000 bird species on this planet, and this series will introduce you to some of the families that make up the class of birds known as Aves. We will review each family’s evolutionary history, distribution, natural history, fun facts, and look at conservation concerns for the family as a whole. This series is intended for birders who are looking for a deeper understanding of avian taxonomy and biology. Each class in the Birds of a Feather series is standalone and must be purchased separately.

Gaviidae: Loons
  • January 26, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Podicipedidae: Grebes
  • February 23, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Pacific Loons, photo by Mick Thompson

Field Class: Beginning Field Birding and Sauvie Island Exploration

Instructor: Greg Baker and Ricky Allen

Join Greg Baker and Ricky Allen for Saturday morning explorations at one of Oregon’s most accessible Important Bird Areas, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.

Beginning Field Birding and Sauvie Island Exploration
  • February 6, March 6, and April 3, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. *FULL*
2nd session added! Beginning Field Birding and Sauvie Island Exploration
  • February 13, March 13, and April 10, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ross's Goose flock, photo by Scott Carpenter

The Fascinating Lives of Song Sparrows

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

We’ll take a long look at the beloved Song Sparrow, focusing on their fascinating social lives.

The Fascinating Lives of Song Sparrows
  • February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Song Sparrow, photo by Tara Lemezis

Virtual Birding

Instructor: Greg Baker

Join Greg and virtually bird some of the best local hotspots! These quiz-based classes are designed for participation. We will focus on identifying birds by overall impression.

February Birding on Sauvie Island
  • February 9, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Winter Birding: The Columbia River Mouth and Estuary
  • February 16, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 

Bald Eagle, photo by Mick Thompson

Ducks at a Distance

Instructor: John Rakestraw

Learn to identify waterfowl from a distance using shape, color patterns, and behavior.

Ducks at a Distance
  • February 11, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Northern Shoveler, photo by Mick Thompson

Female Birdsong

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

This class will explore the new understanding of female birdsong that recent research has uncovered, as well as identify the local species where we can see this behavior in action.

Female Birdsong
  • February 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Yellow Warbler, photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

Little Brown Birds

Instructor: John Rakestraw

Learn to identify our local finches, wrens, and blackbirds by learning each species’ distinctive characteristics.

Finches, Wrens, and Blackbirds
  • March 9, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
House Finch, photo by John Rakestraw

Learn iNaturalist

Instructor: Stefan Schlick

Want to become a better naturalist? Stefan will present and explain both the phone app and the iNaturalist website so that you can level up your naturalist skills!

Learn to Use the Nature App, iNaturalist
  • March 16, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Rough-skinned Newt by Rhett Wilkins

The New School of Birding (Module 1)

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
*FULL*
  • 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

The New School of Birding (Module 2)

Instructors: Candace Larson and Dan van den Broek

Join expert bird nerds, Candace and Dan, for the second module of the New School of Birding. In this module, we’ll explore how and why birds sing, diving into breeding and nesting ecology from courtship and nest building to mating and fledging. Along the way, we’ll help you level up your birding-by-ear skills as we investigate bird song from duets to dialects and practice together in the field.

New School of Birding: Breeding Ecology and Birdsong
  • Classes: Wednesdays (Mar 24 – Apr 28), 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
  • Field Days: April 3, April 17, and May 1, 7:00 a.m. – 12 p.m./2 p.m.
Bewick's Wren, photo by Mick Thompson

Spring Birding

Instructor: Stefan Schlick

This spring primer focuses on how to see and where to find the more uncommon bird species, west of the Cascade Mountains. *This is not a bird identification class. 

Spring Birding: Where and How to Find Uncommon Species
  • April 6, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Yellow-breasted Chat, photo by Mick Thompson

Spring Shorebirds

Instructor: John Rakestraw

This class will teach you how to identify migrating shorebirds by color, size, shape, and behavior.

Spring Shorebirds
  • April 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Black-bellied Plover, photo by John Rakestraw