An introduction to ornithology with birdwatching
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HS090
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
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What is the course about?
This course is an introduction to the rich and varied world of birds. The focus will be on birds of the UK, but with an
overview of the diversity of birds which can be found throughout the globe. The course will also provide practical
identification techniques, an auditory introduction to birdsong and general tips on birdwatching. During the fieldtrips
we practise spotting birds, working though identifying them and also understanding the behaviours that we witness.
The fieldtrip locations are St James Park and Hampstead Heath (Please note that the sites are subject to change).
What will we cover?
- Bird evolution, structure and diversity
- Bird ecology and behaviour, including migration
- Identification techniques and general tips for birdwatching
- Practising birdwatching on two fieldtrips; St James’s Park and Hampstead Heath.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe how birds evolved and some of the mechanisms which have led to bird diversity
- Understand some key physical components of birds, including feather structure and function
- Recognise different bird behaviours (breeding behaviour, calling and singing, finding food, avoiding predators)
- Describe some of the mechanisms of migration
- Develop practical techniques to identifying birds
- Begin to recognise birdsong and have the tools to continue building this knowledge.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all. Please remember that the course includes 2 fieldtrips. You must be mobile enough to walk gently for two hours over terrain which may be rough in places.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will take place partly in the classroom and partly outdoors at 2 fieldtrip locations in London. The main format of the classroom sessions will be an illustrated presentation, with some interactive learning activities, discussion, questions and answers. Videos and recordings of birdsong will be played. There will be no work required outside of the class though guidance to finding further information will be provided each week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A notepad or device for note taking would be useful. If you have your own binoculars and bird ID guide, then you are encouraged to bring these along to the fieldtrips. The tutor will have binoculars and an ID guide to share with the group.
You will need to pay for your own travel to and from the fieldtrip locations.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
For other Nature courses, please check the City Lit website: Science & Nature.
Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital and also works for two urban environmental education charities. She is often to be found wading in either the River Thames or Deptford Creek. Her favourite species is the Long-tailed Tit.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.