Tucson Audubon Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home What We Do Education Program Lifelong Birding Series

Lifelong Birding Series

Specialty Workshops with Homer Hansen

homer_birdersAll specialty workshops are taught by Homer Hansen and are intended for experienced birders who have taken our beginning and advanced beginner/intermediate level courses and workshops. Participants will engage in classroom and field sessions to develop identification skills and knowledge for specific groups of challenging birds such as warblers and sparrows. Information will be presented from an ornithological perspective.

The workshops take place over the course of two days. All classroom sessions take place on Thursdays (unless otherwise noted) from 5:30pm – 8:30pm in the conference room of the Historic Y building on University and 5th (See parking map). All field trips are on Saturdays from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm. Transportation to the field trip sites is the responsibility of the participant; carpooling is highly recommended and will be organized during the classroom portion. Workshops are limited to 10 participants.


Register online for any of these workshops by clicking the links below. Please contact Jan Holder by email or phone at 520-629-0510 x7018 if you have any questions.


Sparrows
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 general 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.

Classroom session: Thursday, February 2, 2017; 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
Field trip: Saturday, February 4, 2017; 7am - 5pm, location to be announced
Cost: $110/member; $145/non-members

REGISTER HERE

 

Raptors
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.

Classroom session: Thursday February 16, 2017: 5:30pm-8:30pm
Location: Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave. Tucson
Field trip: Saturday, February 18, 2017: 7am-5pm; Location: TBD 
Cost: $145 non-member, $110 member

REGISTER HERE

 

Birding by Ear
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.

Classroom session: Thursday, April 13, 2017; 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Tucson Audubon Main Office University and 5th Ave, Tucson
Field trip: Saturday, April 15, 2017; 7am - 5pm; Location: TBA
Cost: $145 non-member, $110 member

REGISTER HERE

 

Additional Classes

 

Ornithology 101

Green Valley Recreation Center, Santa Rita Springs Location, 921 W. Rio Fuerte (map)
Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:30, from January 17 through January 31, 2017

Have you ever wondered why there are so many species of hummingbirds in Arizona and so few in Florida, or why Costa Rica, the size of West Virginia, has over 900 species of recorded bird? Who decided to lump red-shafted and yellow-shafted flickers and split the western scrub jays and why? Today feathers unambiguously define birds, but many dinosaur fossils display feathers. How did feathers (and birds!) evolve? Birds survive and breed from the Antarctic to the Sahara Desert. Would you like to find out how they do it? Bird songs and calls are a boon to birders but why do birds sing?

Ornithology 101 will cover: bird evolution and diversity, feathers and flight, survival in harsh environments, and behavior and communication. This class will you make you a savvier birder, and enhance your appreciation of birds. Ornithology 101 is taught by long-time avian biologist, Carol Vleck, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Iowa State University, now residing in the Tucson area.

Cost - $125 for the three-class series.

REGISTER HERE


Ornithology 102

Green Valley Recreation Center, Santa Rita Springs Location, 921 W. Rio Fuerte (map)
Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:30, from February 14 through February 28, 2017

Many of our local birds are only here in the summer to breed, and others are only here in the winter and away from their nesting grounds. What cues do birds use to recognize the seasons and navigate during migration? Some kinds of birds form long lasting and monogamous pair bonds, some form pairs but are often promiscuous, and some interact only for mating.  Birds are the only major group of vertebrates in which all females lay eggs, but did you ever think what a wonderfully complete package an egg is? Parental care of eggs and hatchlings varies from none to extensive, and can involve just female parents, just males, both or neither. How did all this diversity in social and parental behavior evolve? Birds have taught us about everything from physiology to community ecology. Now birds are informing us about global climate change. But what will global climate change do to birds?

Ornithology 102 will cover: bird orientation and navigation, breeding biology and mating systems, and the many connections between the study of bird and human biology. Ornithology 102 is taught by long-time avian biologist, Carol Vleck, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Iowa State University, now residing in the Tucson area.

Cost - $125 for the three-class series.

REGISTER HERE


Backyard Birding and Beyond
Learn why southeastern Arizona is such a great place for birds and why bird watching is so darn much fun!  Taught by Lynn Hassler, this course is designed for beginners and will address how to separate birds out by habitat, seasonal occurrence, and behavior.  Learn about field marks and vocalizations and get the lowdown on binoculars and field guides, birding vocabulary, and etiquette in the field.  Participants will also learn how to identify local birds and discover some of their interesting characteristics and charms.  Course includes two 2-hour classroom sessions and three field trips.

  • Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, March 11, 2017 (no class March 4)
  • Classroom: Tucson Audubon Nature Shop, 300 E University Blvd. 10:00 a.m.-noon
  • Field trip locations: Reid Park, Aqua Caliente Park, and Sweetwater Wetlands, times TBD
  • Cost: $150 for members, $185 for non-members

REGISTER HERE

 

Birding by Habitat
Southeastern Arizona offers such excellent birding opportunities in part because of its variety of habitats.  Experience the fun of birding in three different natural environments—Sonoran desert, riparian, and sky island—with Lynn Hassler, long-time birder, educator, and noted author. Maximum 12 people.

Field trips:
  • April 8 – Catalina State Park, 7--11:00 a.m.
  • April 15 – San Pedro River, 7 a.m.--3 p.m.
  • April 22 – Mt. Lemmon, 7 a.m.--3 p.m.       

Cost: $175 for members, $210 for non-members

REGISTER HERE