Bird identification by sight and song
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
What is the course about?
An introduction to the natural history of birds with emphasis on species found in London in summer and winter, and their common songs, calls and behaviour.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
An introduction to bird behaviour, with particular focus on why birds sing and how and why they migrate. As well as getting familiar with our common species that we see all year round, we’ll be learning to identify our winter visitors and understand how their life cycles may differ to our native species. The course will also provide tips and guidance on observing birds, and some of the best places to see birds in London.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand why and when birds sing
- Be able to visualise bird migration and know why some species to migrate
- Know some key features which will help you identify common species
- Identify some common birds of London by sight and sound
- Be familiar with some of our winter visiting species
- Have the confidence to go bird watching, identify some good sites for observing birds in London and learn how to use aids and guides effectively.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is aimed at complete beginners, so no previous skills or experience are required. It is open to anyone with enthusiasm for the natural world who is keen on observing the wildlife around them. We will focus on common garden and parkland species and go back to basics.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught online using a mixture of presentations, visual guides and sound recordings. There will be a chance to quiz yourself and ask the tutor questions. There is no work required outside of the classroom, but the session aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to have a go at identifying species in the field in your own time.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no extra costs, all you need to bring is a note pad and pen. ID books and guides will be provided but if you have any please feel welcome to bring them if you’re able to.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look out for our other nature courses on the website.
Verity Miles, MSc, is a Zoologist and environmental campaigner, with a background in ecology, conservation and ornithology. Since studying and teaching in the Biological Sciences department of the University of Bristol, she has been working for an environmental campaigning organisation in London and managing nature reserves with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust in her spare time. She is passionate about conservation and has a particular interest in birds. As a bird ringer, Verity has experienced identifying and handling many different species and is an advocate for urban birding and engaging with wildlife in the City.
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.