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Education - Classes and Resources

The MDAS Education Committee arranges classes for chapter members and the public, serves as a resource for information on local classes through other organizations, and provides links to educational materials and programs available online.

The Education Committee is looking for volunteers interested in helping set up classes, contacting instructors, brainstorming ideas, collaborating with area conservation groups to provide birding expertise on hikes, and/or working with youth and classroom teachers to further the MDAS mission.

If interested, please contact Maren Smith at marensmithbkk@yahoo.com or (925) 322-8477.

MDAS Registration PoliciesMDAS Classes

Raptor Identification - Pamela Llewellyn
Two 2-hour classes and two 4-hour field trips
Classes: Tuesday, October 2 and 9, 7-9 PM
Field Trips: Sunday October 7 and 14, 8 AM-noon, location TBD
Lafayette Library and Learning Center, Oak Room (maximum of 15 participants - 1 space remaining)
Cost: $45 MDAS members/$50 non-members

Class Description:Join raptor specialist Pamela Llewellyn for this two-week workshop while she guides you through basic identification and natural history of the diurnal birds of prey seen in the San Francisco Bay Area and the surrounding area. Two classroom presentations will provide a straightforward introduction to the identification of our local hawks, eagles, and falcons, and help you sharpen your raptor ID skills. During the field trips we will venture out looking for raptors and practice what we have learned in class. Recommended for beginning and intermediate birders. 

Instructor Bio:Pamela Llewellyn is a San Francisco Bay Area native who has been leading local birding trips for the Golden Gate Audubon Society for the past 15 years, and more recently, taught Raptor Identification classes at the Klamath Falls Winter Wings Festival. Prior to that, she spent five years as a bander and docent for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Pamela has lead bird trips through the Point Reyes Field Seminars (PRNSA) and also banded with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (Point Blue). She has worked as a local bird guide on board Delphinus for Dolphin Charters taking groups on trips throughout the waterways of the San Francisco Bay and it’s tributaries. Pamela studied Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, is a nature photographer and artist, and she also leads private birding trips in the Bay Area.

To enroll, contact the Education Chair

Fall Bird Sounds Workshop: Birding By Ear - Denise Wight
Two 2-hour classes and two 4-hour field trips
Classes: Thursday, November 8 and 15, 7-9 PM
Field Trips: Saturday, November 10 and 17, 8:30 AM-12:30 PM, location TBD
Lafayette Library and Learning Center, Oak Room (maximum of 15 participants )
Cost: $45 MDAS members/$50 non-members

Class Description: Fall is a great time to begin learning about bird sounds. We will start with learning the songs and calls of some of the birds that live in our area all year, as well returning winter species. This workshop will offer a wide range of tricks and hints on how to learn and connect the birds to the sounds they make.

Instructor Bio: An Orinda native, since 1996 Denise has taught birding classes at the Orinda Community Center, Wild Birds Unlimited in Pleasant Hill, was a co-leader on Shearwater Journeys pelagic boat trips, and has led classes and field trips for the Lindsay Museum, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and Mount Diablo Audubon Society, as well as for private groups. Denise has taught Birding by Ear at Albany Adult School for seven years and continues to teach BBE classes for Golden Gate Audubon at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. She was Program Chair for MDAS from 1992 to 2000. www.denisewightbirds.com

ENROLL

Local and Area Classes

The MDAS Education Committee maintains a list of local and area classes of special interest to members of our chapter for which they may enroll. Links to other organizations are also provided below for information about classes they may offer.

9/13 - 11/15: Walnut Creek bird art class

Bird Up! 10-week art class--join a class focused on exercising your technical drawing skills using a variety of mediums while getting up close and personal with a variety of feathered friends. Walnut Creek Center for Community Arts, Thursdays, September 13-November 15, 2-4 PM, $154 Center for Community Arts

9/29: Solano raptors hike

Birds of Prey Hike (4-6 miles) with Larry Broderick at Lynch Canyon, a magnet for migrating raptors and home to Golden Eagles and many hawk species. September 29, 10 AM-1 PM, $10 (and $6 parking fee per car). solanolandtrust.org

9/22, 10/27: Cosumnes Reserve bird counts, paddles, photo walks

Cosumnes River Preserve in Galt offers monthly bird counts, guided kayak paddles, and guided photo walks September 22 and October 27 at 8 AM, FREE! Register at Cosumnes River Preserve www.cosumnes.org/

10/28: Elkhorn Slough bird tour

Elkhorn Slough Safari Nature Boat Birding Excursion tour with an in-depth look by a naturalist at some 250 bird species on their southern migration. Sunday, October 28, 7:15 AM, $45. www.elkhornslough.com or (831) 633-5555

Golden Gate Audubon offers classes for all levels of birding skills for members and non-members. You can find out more about them at https://goldengateaudubon.org/education/classes/. They also do Eco-Education programs that offer year-round environmental education to Title I (federally-funded) elementary schools in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco. To find out more visit https://goldengateaudubon.org/education/eco-education/.

The Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Institute offers over 140 hands-on outdoor education classes per year that foster the enjoyment of the Point Reyes National Seashore, for over 2000 participants. Their classes are led by expert instructors who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. You can find out more at http://www.ptreyes.org/camps-classes-programs/prnsa-field-institute or by calling (415) 663-1200 x307.

Ohlone Audubon Society maintains a list of local classes at http://www.ohloneaudubon.org/index.php/education/bird-watching-classes

Denise Wight's list of birding classes can be found at http://www.denisewightbirds.com/

Daniel Edelstein teaches classes which can be found on his Merritt College blog and on his website at WarblerWatch.com.

John Muir Laws offers classes through his website, JohnMuirLaws.com.

Online Education

The Education Committee provides links to online classes and educational resources.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has over 200 online courses available. Some require a fee, but many are free. You can explore them at https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/course-list/ or http://www. birds.cornell.edu/courses.

Birds of North America is a subscription website maintained by Cornell Lab of Ornithology that has a wealth of information on birds. You can access them at https://birdsna.org/ This is not a set of classes, but detailed information to assist your learning about individual bird species.

Programs for Teachers:

Audubon Adventures offers a variety of programs for schools at http://www.audubon.org/conservation/audubon-adventures.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has their Bird Sleuth programs for teachers. Find out more at http://www.birdsleuth.org/.

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