Bird classes and workshops

New Classes and workshops:

Birding 101

Sponsored by Pasadena Audubon Society and Eaton Canyon Nature Center.

Birding provides enjoyment and challenge throughout life, getting you outdoors on your street or around the world, and it’s a great cocktail party topic! This is a great opportunity to explore the world of Birding in a structured, classroom environment.This class is designed for beginners, but all are welcome. We will cover the basics of identification (sight, sound, behavior), optics, field guides, habitats, birding ethics and many other topics. Our goals are to help class participants gain ID skills, become familiar with local birds and to be comfortable on birding field trips. Class size is limited so don’t delay!

  • Classroom sessions: Tuesdays, March 10, 17, and 24, 2020, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
  • Field trips: Sunday March 15 and Saturday March 21, 2020, early morning to about noon.
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    Participants need to attend all classes and field trips. Location of the class and field trips will be sent to the class participants. Sorry, no walk-ins. Cost: $75 for Pasadena Audubon members, $100 for non-members (but, will include membership in Pasadena Audubon Society). This fee will cover all three classes and two field trips. Payment is payable to “Pasadena Audubon Society” and is due at the first class session (scholarships are available for Young Birders Club members who are accompanied by a paying parent/responsible adult).

    Leaders: Ron Cyger and Mark Scheel

    Past Classes and workshops:

    Special Event Workshop: Sparrows of Southern California with author Rick Wright

  • Workshop: Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Field Trip: Sunday, November 24, 2019, 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Instructor: Rick Wright
  • Price: $55 Pasadena Audubon members, $65 non-members
  • Class is now full

    Pasadena Audubon Society is excited to have Rick Wright, author of the recently published Peterson Reference Guide to North American Sparrows, join us for a deep dive into the world of “little brown jobs”. This two-part workshop will help birders of all capabilities polish their skills with this potentially difficult group of birds. The workshop will cover everything from identifying birds using shape and structure as well as tips on aging birds and identifying them to subspecies. The workshop will include an indoor class on Saturday and a field trip to some sparrow hotspots Sunday. With limited numbers for this special event we encourage you to sign up early.

    Owls of Southern California

  • Workshop was Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Eaton Canyon Nature Center, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Field Trip was Saturday, March 9, 2019, 6:00 pm - midnight
  • Instructor was: Lance Benner

  • Twelve owl species occur in southern California annually, and at least ten of them breed here. Due to its geography, southern California hosts one of the highest concentrations of owl species in the country and is near the southern edge of the ranges for several species. In addition to the species well known to breed here, barred owls are approaching ever more closely from the north and have recently been documented as far south as Kern County.

    This workshop will discuss the owls that live in southern California, their adaptations, biology, vocalizations, geographic distributions, and where to find them. The talk will make extensive use of range maps from eBird and owl recordings and sonograms of our local species.

    The workshop includes a field trip to look for owls in the San Gabriel Mountains. The trip is scheduled at the peak time of year for hearing northern saw-whet, northern pygmy, and spotted owls and also offers a good chance for finding western screech owl, great horned owl, and common poorwill. The field trip will concentrate on searching for owls along the side of the road but may be expanded to include a hike depending on current conditions and the weather.

    Attendance at the workshop is mandatory in order to attend the field trip. Limit: 10.
    Price: $45 Pasadena Audubon members, $65 non-members
    Please note: Priority will be given to members who have not taken a class in the past year.

    Gull Identification Class

  • Workshop was Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Field trip was Saturday, January 12th, 2019, 8:00am to noon
  • Instructor was Larry Allen

  • Of the roughly 57 species of gull (subfamily Larinae) found worldwide, more than half have been detected in North America. Identification as to species is challenging not only because of the substantial resemblance of many in their adult plumages (particularly the large “white headed” gulls), but also by the near-uniformity of their “juvenal” and “formative” plumages in their first year.

    The workshop session will address the identification of the gulls that are to be expected in Southern California. The session will address not only identification of gulls in their adult, or “definitive,” plumages, but will also present a heuristic “model” of how gulls develop as they mature, so that participants will be able to distinguish the species at whatever age class, or “cycle,” they may encounter. If time permits, we will address the latest findings regarding gull taxonomy.

    The field session will be devoted to testing the developmental model presented in the workshop. However, the identification of adult gulls, in flight as well as standing/swimming will not be ignored. Location will be determined by the location of gull flocks that week. Be prepared to go as far north as Zuma Beach or as far south as Doheny Beach (Orange County).

    Price: $45 Pasadena Audubon members, $65 non-members
    Please note: Priority will be given to members who have not taken a class in the past year.

    Sparrow Identification Class

  • Classes were October 25 & November 1, 2018, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Instructor was Mickey Long

  • The sparrows are seemingly little, basic brown birds with just enough species in our Los Angeles County area (over 20 species) to make them difficult to master. This two-evening class will be geared to the mid-level or more advanced birder who wants more focus on a single group of birds that often give birders trouble.

    Along with learnable field marks, we will use seasonal and geographical distribution to support identifications. Habitats and good locations to view sparrows will also be enumerated.

    Fee: $60 for Pasadena Audubon members, $80 for non-members. Class is limited to 25 participants. Please note, priority will be given to those who have not taken a Pasadena Audubon class in the past year.