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Adult Education 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. “Meet our Instructors” below.

New cancellation policy: All cancellation requests must be received no later than 24 hrs prior to the class-start time in order for a full refund to be issued (no exceptions). To cancel, please email or call 520-488-2868

Waiting list is available for those classes that are full. If you sign up for the waitlist you will be contacted to complete registration if an opening becomes available. 



Sparrows – Frequent Familiar Friends with Homer Hansen – Feb 1 & 3

Sparrows are some of the most familiar and most common birds in the world, but what is a sparrow, really? Knowing what makes a sparrow a sparrow can help birders identify the species more easily. Those who enjoy birding can also better appreciate the sparrow’s place in the world, by understanding the important role that they have in the ecosystem. Local celebrity birder, Homer Hansen, will surprise birders of all levels with his knowledge of the sparrow’s characteristics, behavior, and geography here in southeast Arizona, Your learning experience will include an in-class presentation and outdoor field trip.

  • Cost $110 for members and $145 for non-members. Limited to 10.
  • Classroom session: Thursday, February 1, 2018; 5:30pm8:30pm 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



Raptors – Great Birds of Prey with Homer Hansen – Feb 8 & 10

The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning “to seize or take by force.”These birds are characterized by their keen vision that allows them to detect their prey during flight, as well as powerful talons and beaks. The size, speed, and variety of the species have impressed birdwatchers all over the world. Yet, the ability to successfully ID raptors is a challenge, especially among the species that can be found here in southeast Arizona. Local celebrity birder, Homer Hansen, will demonstrate how raptors can be identified through their behavior, wing shape, and flight influence. Your learning experience includes an in-class presentation and outdoor field trip.

  • Cost $110 for members and $145 for non-members. Limited to 10.
  • Classroom session: Thursday, February 8, 2018; 5:30pm8:30pm at the Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
  • Field trip: Saturday, February 10, 2018; 7am5pm, location to be determined at classroom session



NEW! Urban Birding for Young Professionals with Homer Hansen – March 24

The birdwatching phenomenon has experienced a rebirth in popularity among those in their 20’s and 30’s over the last several years:

If you have been thinking about trying birding for the first time, but have held out for fear of being the only one in your age group to join the party here at Tucson Audubon, fear no more. This beginning urban birding class is just for young professionals. We have tossed out the slideshow presentation and the lecture on birds and we are just going to get right down to it in the field. Join us on what we anticipate to be a beautiful Saturday morning at Reid Park, where you will be introduced to birds and what makes them so awesome. No birding gear? No problem! We have created a discounted, intro “urban birding kit” at our Nature Shop (downtown location) with Celestron Nature DX 8x32 binoculars, pocket bird guide, and larger reference field guide for under $150 (no tax). Become a member with us and save an additional 10% along with paying a reduced registration fee for this class. Not ready to invest in binoculars yet? No problem! Loaner binoculars will be available on site. ID will be required. Questions? Email or call/text 520-488-2868

  • Cost: Members $45, Nonmembers $55. Limited to 10.
  • Field Class: Saturday, March 24; 7:30–10:30 am
  • Location: Reid Park (meet at the gazebo in the Rose Garden); parking at 22nd and Country Club



Birding By Ear with Homer Hansen – April 12 & 14

Whether you are just beginning your birding adventure or have been at it for awhile, we often rely on our eyes to ID birds. But did you know that the ears also play a very important role in bird identification? Hummingbirds, hawks, sparrows, doves, thrashers, and most types of birds have unique calls that are useful to the birdwatcher. Learn how to bird by ear with local celebrity birder Homer Hansen, who will introduce you to sonograms and vocalization types, as well as work on comparisons between similar sounding Arizona species. You will then have the opportunity to use your new found skills in the field. Your learning experience includes an in-class presentation and an outdoor field trip.

  • Cost $110 for members and $145 for non-members. Limited to 10.
  • Classroom session: Thursday, April 12, 2018; 5:30pm8:30pm at the Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
  • Field trip: Saturday, April 14, 2018; 7am – 5pm, location TBD



NEW! The Life of the Hummingbird with Stephen Vaughan – April 26 & 28

The wonder and magnificence of hummingbirds is something that can always be witnessed here in southeast Arizona. They can be seen sitting in a tree outside of the kitchen window and flying around while out on a morning walk or hike. But have you ever wanted to know more about these beautiful creatures and how they came to exist? Well now is your chance! Ornithologist, Steve Vaughan will take you on a learning journey to explore the life history of the hummingbird. The class will look at both the whole and specialized characteristics of the individual species. This workshop is a 2-part series that will include an in-class presentation and a field trip to the Paton Center for the Hummingbirds where the sought after Violet-Crowned Hummingbird can be seen year-round!

  • Cost $85 members $100 non-members. Limited to 15.
  • 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



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.


NEW! Wilderness Survival Class with Vincent Pinto – March 1

Arizona is renowned for harsh environments that easily overwhelm even the most experienced outdoor person. Potential survival situations lurk everywhere you go. Thus, each year many unfortunate hikers, birders, hunters, and others who wander the wildlands succumb to the overwhelming forces of nature – some even losing their lives. What if you….. got lost? Injured? Threatened by dangerous wildlife? Overwhelmed by hunger? Seriously dehydrated? Had to spend a night or multiple days in the wilderness? Nature is truly as unforgiving as it is beautiful. If you would like to get empowered with the knowledge to face any of the challenges that nature may throw your way, then join longtime Wilderness Survival Instructor Vincent Pinto for this fun, innovative, and informative in-class session. An in-depth evening presentation will introduce you to a myriad of wilderness survival basics from a naturalist’s perspective. Registration in the accompanying “Wilderness Survival Field Experience” is highly encouraged to apply your newfound skills, but not required.

  • Cost: Members $35, Nonmembers $45. Limit: 20 participants (for individuals and families with children ages 14 and up)
  • In-Class Presentation: Thursday, March 1, 5:30–7:30 pm
  • Location: Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center



NEW! Wilderness Survival Field Experience with Vincent Pinto – March 3

This is the field portion of the “Wilderness Survival Class” that will take place at the remote and beautiful 42-acre Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary near Patagonia Lake State Park and the Sonoita Creek Natural Area. There you will learn a variety of hands-on survival skills, using only materials gleaned directly from nature. This empowering workshop covers a number of key wilderness survival priorities that will include: shelter-making, fire-making, water finding & purification, wild edible plants, wild medicinal plants, wilderness tools, natural navigation, and more! Much of the workshop will be held at the sanctuary’s unique Stone-age Village. By the end of the day, you will have learned many life-saving skills and will have added fascinating and valuable nature knowledge to your outdoor repertoire! Organic, homemade lunch and dinner at Raven’s Nest Sanctuary are available for purchase. A packed lunch in the field is $20 and dinner served at the Safari Tented Camp is $30. You must contact Claudia Campos-Pinto in advance for meal reservations by emailing her at or calling 520-519-9966.

  • Cost: Members $65, Nonmembers $75. Limit: 20 participants
  • Field Class Saturday 3/3 9am-3pm
  • Location: Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary


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.” Long-time naturalist educator Kevin Hansen will teach you that 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. Looking to take your birding skills to the next level? This class is for you! This 2-hr field experience will emphasize the species of the American Southwest.

  • Cost $35 members, $45 non-members. Limited to 12 participants ages 12 and up
  • Saturday March 10, 2018 from 8-10 am, Location: Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District, Intersection of Manville Rd. & Sandario Rd. Will meet at the access point for the Manville Trail.



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.

Kevin Hansen has spent over 25 years as a speaker, wildlife biologist, naturalist, park ranger and writer throughout the United States. He is the former Science Director of the Mountain Lion Foundation and Education Director of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. He has worked on field studies of mountain lions, raptors, endangered desert pupfish, alligators, brown pelicans, bobcats and Amazon River dolphins. Kevin has given over 1,200 public presentations at the California Academy of Sciences, San Diego Natural History Museum, University of Texas, Phoenix Zoo, University of Colorado, Yosemite National Park and Northern Arizona University. He is the author of Cougar: The American Lion (Northland Publishing 1992) and Bobcat: Master of Survival (Oxford University Press 2007) seminal books on both wild felines. Kevin is an authority on the natural history and management of mountain lions and bobcats.

Vincent Pinto has blazed a unique career path, combining formal academic work in Wildlife Biology, Ethnobotany, and Environmental Studies with outside-the-box Biodiversity Tours, Nature Adventures, Astronomy, and Earth Stewardship. He is a passionate hands-on Conservationist, Naturalist, local bird expert and researcher, and a committed protector of the Sky Islands region in southeast Arizona and its unique Biodiversity. Vincent is the founder and co-owner with his wife Claudia of RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS – their Nature Adventure and Conservation organization based in Patagonia Lake and Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. Through Ravens-Way, Vincent fulfills his mission to educate and inspire people of all ages about the wonders of our natural world.

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.

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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