2021 Intensive Beginning Birding Course

Instructors: Juanita Baker, Ph.D. and David Simpson

Plus volunteer field trip guides: Felicity Rask, Carolyn Cimino, Becky Loftus, William Loftus, Douglas Sutherland, George Thomas, Richard Baker

Want to learn more about our Florida Birds? We have over 300 different species that have been seen in our county! What a marvelous opportunity to learn about and see so many unique birds.

Pelican Island Audubon Society (PIAS) invites you to join our 2021 Intensive Beginning Birding Course taught by Juanita Baker and David Simpson in 4 intensive online Zoom classes giving you basic knowledge to understand birds through 4 “indoor field trips” with many beautiful photographs representing Indian River County’s variety of Bird Families, plus 2 “outdoor field trips” to local “birding Hotspots” helping you to learn what to look for, and understand and appreciate our Florida wonders. 

This Beginning Birding course introduces you to basic identification and techniques so that you learn bird basics and can appreciate more why birds are the way they are…their size, shape, foods, colors, songs, typical behaviors and mating rituals that not only help us identify the birds but enjoy them. Understanding in which habitats, geographical locations birds, and in what season the birds might be found will help you locate birds. Basic equipment you might want to use, and field skills birders use will be reviewed. Finally, you will learn how to get near to birds to view them yet be responsible and not harm them. Brief history and current forces that are destructive of our birds, conservation efforts, and what we can do for birds and all wildlife is covered.

Class Location

Classes will be held on Zoom online. See Zoom notes at bottom of post. Field trip details are below.

2021 Class Schedule

Intensive 2-week course:  
Four evening class sessions from 6:0O – 8:30 PM, 
Tuesday, February 9
Thursday, February 11

Tuesday, February 23
Thursday, February 25

Two Field Trips to Special Places:  We will arrange to have l guide for each group of 5 trainees. Everyone must wear masks, ride in your own family vehicle and meet with your group of 5 and your guide at the two locations all outdoors with 6 foot social distancing.  Bring your own binoculars although request PIAS binoculars if you wish to borrow a pair. They will have been wiped clean.  Your guide might set up the scope for viewing and focus it on a bird to share the ID. Take turns, viewing and do not touch the scope.  If the bird walked/flew out of the scope, and needs adjusting, then request the guide to move it

Saturday, February 13 from 7:00 AM to 12:00 pm – Sebastian Inlet State Park & Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, February 27 from 7:00 AM to 1:00 pm – Stick Marsh area
You will see and identify over 75 bird species.

Fee (must be a member of Pelican Island Audubon to take the course)*

$95 for Pelican Island Audubon members
For non-members:
1-person – $95 course registration + $25 PIAS individual membership = $120
2-people – $190 course registration for two people + $30 PIAS family membership (save $20 on membership) = $220

*Please note:  Registration will be considered incomplete without being member of Pelican Island Audubon Society.  You will be emailed course materials after payment in January so you can prepare. Reserve your spot today!  Class limit is 30 people. Cancellations/refunds allowed until January 31 (to allow others to take your place and schedule their time)

About the instructors:  Long-time birder and PIAS author of the Florida Bird Photo-of-the-Month, Juanita N. Baker, lead, and outstanding Florida birder, David Simpson, will instruct in class and David will be available as guide on one field trip along with numerous other experienced bird guides for both field trips so you can apply the skills taught in the intensive classes. 

Questions: email Juanita Baker at FLBirdExp@gmail.com

Meetings will be held on Zoom. Please read the instructions below.

Take part in the meetings from the comfort of your own home or other online location by following these instructions:

  1. Register and pay for the classes.
  2. A day or two before the event you will be sent a confirmation email containing a password for the meeting and a link to click on to take you to the meeting.
  3. When it is time for the meeting, simply click on the link and enter the password.
  4. Zoom will automatically ask you to download the application when you click on the meeting link if you have not downloaded the Zoom application yet.  If you want to download Zoom in advance, you can do it manually here:  https://zoom.us/download
  5. Other considerations include:
    • An Internet connection suitable for live streaming (wired or wireless)
    • Headset or speakers (usually included with most laptop & desktop computers
    • A quiet location where you will not be disturbed

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