Beginner's Guide to Birding

Start your Birding adventures right with tested birding techniques that will help you find and connect with all your feathered friends

Join the adventure in getting to know your wild, feathered neighbors!

This learning journey is meant to take you through an accelerated process of learning about how to identify and understand common birds.

Birds are not only beautiful, fascinating, and present everywhere we go but they also enrich our lives through their color, songs and behavior. Studying them is an excellent way to deepen your own connection to wildness.

Your Instructor

Filip Tkaczyk
Filip Tkaczyk

Wildlife enthusiast, obsessive tracker, perpetual student of the natural world and outdoor educator teaching and training others in skills that help them become fully human. Filip has worked for Seattle Audubon for 2 years and has taught about 8 years of Bird Language and Bird Studies classes for Alderleaf Wilderness College and at Raven's Roots Naturalist School. He has spent the past decade teaching at several different outdoor organizations, and continues to write, teach, and get outside in all weather.

In this course, we will cover the following:

- Why Birds Matter

- Ecological importance

- Personal importance

- How to see birds

- Where to look – (Landscape level, microhabitat level)

- Habitat associations

- How to listen

- Pick common species to study, start with 1 and know it well (all stages/color forms/etc.)

- How to ID Birds

- Shape, size, color/pattern, voice, context (habitat), behavior

- Effects of light of color/pattern, effects of feather fluff on shape

- Bills, wings, tails, feet & feathers

- Several common bird species and how to ID them

- Bird groups – families/genus/etc. of commonly seen birds

- Identification & Bird Parts Quizzes

- Further Study

- Journaling

- The Masterlist

- Photography

- Listing (counting species seen) – life-list, state-list, etc.

- Useful Tools

I hope you will join me in immersing yourself in all things birds!

I am including several detailed presentations on a few particularly interesting species. Other species will be introduced to you through the quizzes.

Remember, this course is set to be done at your own pace. If you enroll, enjoy your process and let things sink in at the pace which feels most natural for you.

Also, remember this is the beginning of a journey that you can continue for the rest of your life! You should complete this course feeling you have achieved a good beginning and have the tools to continue. As a famous naturalist and wildlife tracker once said…


“The book of nature has no beginning, as it has no end.”

– Jim Corbett

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do the course if I live in outside of North America?
Yes, you certainly can. But, you will need to find appropriate field guides. All the exercises are adaptable to any landscape/location. You will still need to use online resources to look up the birds in the quizzes, since you probably won't have the field guides for this region. I mention some online resources in the course.
When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

This course is closed for enrollment.