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Birding Fundamentals

  • Boston Outdoor School 131 Walnut St Saugus United States (map)
Birding Fundamentals
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Cost: $55

Duration: 3 hours

Age: 14+

Class Size: 15


Birds have been a source of inspiration for centuries and people have flocked to opportunities where they can seek to learn more about them. Birding is one of the most popular recreational activities people undertake outdoors and attracts hundreds of new practitioners a year. However, it can be daunting to learn how to identify birds and feel confident that you've done so. Fortunately, with a few steps, you too can feel confident in your ability to identify your local bird species. The goal of this course is to provide you with the skills that will help you identify common species of birds in your neighborhood. We will cover what steps to take when identifying an unknown species of bird (field marks, coloration, G.I.S.S., and habitat recognition), where to look for birds, and how to improve your skills on your own.

Expected Takeaways:

  • Basic bird identification

  • Habitat recognition

  • Using field marks

  • Understanding G.I.S.S. (General Impression of Shape and Size)

  • Proper binocular use

  • Call and song recognition

  • Bird identification resources

Instructor: Gareth Perkins

Gareth Perkins.JPG

Gareth has been a birder since he was four years old. His spark bird was a Eurasian blackbird, a common garden bird of the United Kingdom where he was born. After emigrating to the United States, he sought any information he could on his obsession, haunting libraries, book shops, and the gift shop at the Massachusetts Audubon headquarters in Lincoln. It was only after attending Unity College to study Wildlife that his obsession with birds was further intensified. Since 2010, he has kept a life list documenting all the species he's seen in the United States and United Kingdom. As of this year, he's seen 355 species of birds. His favorite places to go birding are Great Meadows NWR in Concord, Parker River NWR in Newburyport, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Gareth has worked as an environmental educator throughout the northeast and in North Carolina where he taught science-based ecology lessons, bird identification classes, and outdoor recreational skills. His goal is to introduce people to one of his favorite pastimes, help them develop the tools to identify common species of birds, and build confidence in their ability to identify birds consistently.

What to bring:

  • Binoculars

  • Field guides (physical or digital)

  • Sturdy closed-toed shoes

  • Warm comfortable clothing for walking

  • Water bottle

Earlier Event: May 4
Land Navigation
Later Event: May 11
Spring Foraging