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.


Beginning Birding by Ear Series

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

Join Brodie to really hone your birding by ear skills in our beginning birding by ear online learning courses. These classes will take you on a deep dive into bird vocalizations, what different sounds mean, and introduce you to the fascinating world of bird calls in your own backyard and beyond. Please register separately for each class.

Birding by Ear: Tips and Tricks
  • March 10, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Birding by Ear: Backyard Favorites
  • March 17, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Lazuli Bunting, by Scott Carpenter

Summer blooms at Mount St. Helens, photo by D.T. Strouse

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.

March Birding on Sauvie Island
  • March 8, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Springtime Migrants on Mount Tabor
  • March 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 

Western Tanager
Western Tanager, photo by Scott Carpenter

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

All About Owls Series

Instructor: Brodie Cass Talbott

Owls are among the most widely distributed, well-known, and easily-recognized animals on the planet, and yet are rarely seen and remain mysterious to the public at large, including birders. Join educator and birding guide Brodie Cass Talbott to unlock the mysteries of the owl. Please register separately for each class.

Understanding Owls
  • March 22, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Owls of NW Oregon
  • March 29, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Owls of Oregon
  • April 5, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Burrowing Owl, photo by Tara Lemezis

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.

Gruidae: Cranes
  • March 26, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Red-crowned Crane by Tambako the Jaguar

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

An Introduction to Butterflies

Instructor: Stefan Schlick

Join Stefan for a beginner two-part series on butterflies of the Portland area. Please register separately for each class.

An Introduction to Butterflies, Part One
  • April 12, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
An Introduction to Butterflies, Part Two
  • April 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gray Hairstreak, photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

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

Flycatchers & Warblers

Instructor: John Rakestraw

This two-part series focuses on a group of birds notorious for giving birdwatchers a stiff neck and bewildered stare. Local author and guide John Rakestraw will show you how to identify these birds by sight and sound as well as posture and performance. Please register separately for each class.

Flycatcher Identification
  • April 27, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Warbler Identification
  • May 4, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Black Phoebe, photo by Mick Thompson

Amphibians & Reptiles

Instructor: John Rakestraw

This class is an introduction to finding and identifying the common reptiles and amphibians of the Portland Metro Area.

Beginner’s Guide to Herping
  • May 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Red-legged Frog, photo by John Rakestraw

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. *FULL*
Bewick's Wren, photo by Mick Thompson