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These new online tutorials are designed to help beginning birders learn how to identify birds on their own time at their own pace.

The tutorials feature:

  • interactive exercises,
  • engaging media,
  • self-paced learning,
  • unlimited access for each user.

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Be a Better Birder: Duck and Waterfowl Identification

Learn to identify ducks, geese, swans, loons, grebes, and more with Cornell Lab ornithologist Dr. Kevin McGowan. Based on the popular webinar series, each lesson in this self-paced online course features a video tutorial followed by exercises and quizzes designed to help build your ID skills.

  • Learn strategies for identifying birds at a glance from a World Series of Birding champion.
  • Get to know all the common waterfowl in North America species-by-species.
  • Practice your skills with photo- and sound-based ID Challenge quizzes.

Designed for intermediate birders, this course features lessons containing more than 3 hours of video instruction, 21 quizzes, and 2 puzzles. You can choose to earn a digital badge and a printable certificate by passing the final exam. Brought to you by Bird Academy—the online learning site for bird enthusiasts.

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Is this a gift? Step 1: Forward your enrollment email to the person you are gifting to. Step 2: Print and customize this gift certificate.

Be a Better Birder: Size & Shape

Need a hand in learning to distinguish a Downy Woodpecker from a Hairy Woodpecker? Or starlings from grackles in a flock?

Size and shape are key to identifying a bird. In this online tutorial, you'll learn which parts of a bird will be most useful in helping you connect the dots. Learn to use a bird yardstick because, in the bird world, size really does matter when it comes to identification.

You'll also learn the basic groupings used to organize the many species of birds, whether they be waders, ducks, or perching birds and how to make those distinctions by noticing shape. You'll have opportunities to check what you've learned with audio flipbooks, interactive illustrations, quizzes, and more.

This online course is ideal for beginning birders who want solid instruction in the basics of bird identification.

Be a Better Birder: Color & Pattern

Get help matching female warblers with their more colorful mates and learn how the male warbler changes its colors in the fall. You'll learn how to make the most of a quick glimpse of a bird.

In this online tutorial you'll learn a few key concepts, including locating bits of color on a bird that will aid in identification. Instead of trying to memorize every color and pattern on a bird, you'll learn to do more with less information, focusing on specific body parts that will lead to the right ID.

Other topics in this section include the challenges posed by juvenile birds and molting birds, and how you can even be fooled by the lighting. Learning is reinforced with interactive exercises and quizzes. You'll become more confident in your ability to look at what's important when using color and pattern to identify a bird.

This online course is ideal for beginning birders who want solid instruction in the basics of bird identification.

Be a Better Birder: Warbler Live Series

This course is now sold out. We have limited space in the live event. After this live series is over, we will be offering a new self-paced Warbler Identification course.

This live online series with master birder Dr. Kevin McGowan
brings you up to speed on a beloved group of birds. Warblers add enjoyment to spring birding with their bright colors and restless spirit. You’ll get to know their markings and habits so that you can add them to your list even as they forage through the treetops.

Enjoy the thrill of naming warblers without thumbing through your field guide. Kevin will give you the confidence to identify and appreciate all 50 species of warblers in North America north of Mexico.

Be a Better Birder: How to Identify Bird Songs
Our Price: $59.99

Jumpstart your birding by ear skills with this self-paced course full of expert tips and innovative learning tools. Learn more
Bird Academy Shorebird ID American Golden Plover
Be a Better Birder: Shorebird Identification Archived Live Series
Our Price: $29.99

Get up to speed on shorebird identification quickly with Kevin McGowan's methods for observing and recognizing the diversity of North American shorebirds. This is a video archive of the whole series bundling 5 one-hour webinars together for your convenience. You get unlimited access to all the archived video material plus downloadable handouts for each session to help you take notes. Closed captioned.