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Classes and Workshops

Our courses are designed for you to improve your knowledge and practice your skills in some of the most beautiful locations in the region!

Register online for any of these workshops by clicking the links below. Please contact LaNella Gaines by email or phone at 520 488-2868 if you have any questions. “Meet our Instructors” below.


Beginning Birding with Jim Logan – Starts Nov. 8

Explore the basics of bird watching with classroom instruction and field trips. Learn what birding is all about, how to select binoculars, which birding guides to use, and the techniques of identifying and enjoying birds found in the Sonoran Desert.

  • Cost $110 OR join Tucson Audubon for $45 individual membership prior to first class. Current Tucson Audubon members may attend for free. Limited to 25 participants.
  • Two 1 1/2 hour classroom sessions: Wednesdays, November  8 and 15,  6:00 to 7:30 pm at Pima Community College NW Campus
  • Two field trips: Saturdays, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., November 11 and 18, locations TBD


Sparrow Specialty Workshop with Homer Hansen – Feb 1 & 3

Often skulky and elusive, these “little brown jobs” are often overlooked in the field. As part of this workshop, you will learn how to find and observe sparrows in their preferred habitat. Useful foraging behaviors and flight characteristics are presented by genera and vocalizations for breeding species are reviewed. The significance of bill shape and size, wing length and tail length are all discussed in relation to identification. This workshop covers 34 species of sparrows, towhees, and longspurs that may be found in the southwest.

  • Cost $110 for members and $185 for non-members
  • Classroom session: Thursday, February 1, 2018; 5:30pm – 8:30pm at the Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
  • Field trip: Saturday,February 3, 2018; 7am – 5pm, location to be determined at classroom session

REGISTER starting Dec 1

Raptors Specialty Workshop with Homer Hansen – Feb 8 & 10

A favorite among birdwatchers, raptors impress us with their size and speed. Though there are not many species of raptors, identification challenges arise from variations in their plumages due to age, sub-species or color morphs. In this workshop, you will learn to recognize species apart from their plumages and learn behaviors that aid in their identification. The importance of a raptor’s wing shape and its influence on flight and behavior and other physiological features will be presented. This workshop covers 28 species of raptors that can be found in the southwest.

  • Cost $110 for members and $185 for non-members
  • Classroom session: Thursday, February 8, 2018; 5:30pm – 8:30pm at the Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
  • Field trip: Saturday, February 10, 2018; 7am – 5pm, location to be determined at classroom session

REGISTER starting Dec 1

Advanced Topics: Birding By Ear with Homer Hansen – April 12 & 14

Learn to use your ears as much as (if not more than) your eyes while birding your favorite destinations. This class will delve into the world of bird vocalizations and give you a framework for learning the voices of our master singers. The evening classroom session will introduce you to sonograms and vocalization types, as well as work on comparisons between similar sounding Arizona species. The field trip will give students a chance to use these skills in the field. Vocalizations will be recorded and brought back to the classroom to analyze.

  • Cost $110 for members and $185 for non-members
  • Classroom session: Thursday, April 12, 2018; 5:30pm – 8:30pm at the Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
  • Field trip: Saturday, April 14, 2018; 7am – 5pm, location TBD

REGISTER starting Dec 1

NEW! Hummingbird Natural History with Stephen Vaughn – April 26 & 28

Hummingbird Natural History will be an intermediate class exploring in depth the life history of North American Hummingbirds. The class will look at the characteristics of the Trochilidae family as a whole plus the specialized characteristic of the individual species. The field trip will allow the opportunity for observations of several species and continued discussions of hummingbird biology. If you are passionate about hummingbirds and would like to have a better understanding of these tiny marvels then this is the class for you. This 2-part class will include both a classroom and field experience. Steve Vaughan is an ornithologist and professional photographer. Class limit 15

  • Cost $85 members $100 non-members
  • Classroom: April 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM Tucson Audubon Main Office- 300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705
  • Field Trip: April 28 from 7 AM to 1 PM The Paton Center for Hummingbirds 477 Pennsylvania Ave, Patagonia, AZ 85624

REGISTER starting Dec 1


Beyond Birds

In this series of workshops, you will explore a variety of topics related to birding such as land ethic, nature journaling, important bird habitat, landscaping for sustainability, and the biodiversity of our unique region to name a few. You will also learn how to support bird populations in our urban environment, while making lifestyle improvements for you and your family.

Basic Animal Tracking Field Class with Kevin Hansen – March 10

Discover the art of animal tracking! The act of tracking animals connects us to our distant ancestors and may have helped us become who we are as modern humans. It is in the words of Ernest Thompson Seton “…the oldest writing known on the earth.” Tracking is a practice that includes looking at many different elements in the landscape, including footprints, trails, beds, feeding sign, scat, scrapes, fur, bone, chews, feathers and kill sites. All of these tell us something about the animals around us and help us to become more aware and to better understand our wild neighbors. This 2-hr field class will emphasize the species of the American Southwest. Class limited to 12.

  • Cost $45 members, $60 non-members
  • Saturday March 10, 2018 from 8-10am, Location:TBD

REGISTER starting Dec 1


Meet the Instructors

Homer Hansen is the author of the G.I.S.S. Series bird identification guides and has been bird watching in the southwest since 1995. Homer is a native of Willcox, Arizona and served as chairman of the Wings Over Willcox Birding & Nature Festival for 17 years. He feels fortunate to have grown up surrounded by Sandhill Cranes in winter and Cassin’s Sparrows in summer. He is also co-founder of the Sulphur Springs Valley Young Birders Club and the annual Arizona Young Birders Camp. Homer has a passion for sharing bird watching with others and instructs numerous workshops about birds, birdwatching, and bird ecology.

Lynn Hassler is the author of Birds of the American Southwest; Hummingbirds of the American West; Roadrunners; Gambel’s Quail; The Raven: Soaring Through History, Legend, and Lore; and co-author of Hot Pots: Container Gardening in the Arid Southwest. A birder for over 40 years, Lynn’s travels to observe nature have taken her to all seven continents.

Jim Logan is a retired middle school science teacher, the former Director of the Alaska Bird Observatory, and a former president of the Northern Arizona Audubon Society. Jim has enjoyed the connection of birds to the natural world for 40 years.

Stephen Vaughan is a professional photographer and ornithologist. Stephen moved to Tucson a year and a half ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was the president of the Aiken Audubon Society for five years.

QUICK Register & start dates
  • Beginning Birding – Nov 8
  • Sparrow Specialty Workshop – Feb 1
  • Raptors Specialty Workshop – Feb 8
  • Basic Animal Tracking – March 10
  • Advanced Topics: Birding By Ear – April 12
  • Hummingbird Natural History – April 26

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447