Field Ornithology

Ornithology is a branch of zoology that focuses on the study of birds. Field Ornithology takes that observation of birds outdoors; Bird Watching!

Join Phinizy Center Education staff and invited field trip leaders as we offer our Field Ornithology courses throughout the year! We offer programs of varying lengths throughout the year to help students achieve necessary skills needed for confident field identification. Weekly classes include lecture, field study, discussion, and home-reading suggestions to help each participant become more comfortable with field identification of our local bird species.

The courses will introduce participants to some of the many great birding spots the CSRA has to offer. Participants will gain a great appreciation for our feathered friends as we explore basic bird anatomy, field marks, behavior, habitat, and more. Participants are required to meet at different birding locations each week and are encouraged to carpool if possible. Registration fees include reference books, a class notebook with handouts, and an automatic enrollment to become a Friend of Phinizy!  Binoculars will be available for use during field trips.


Field Ornithology: Basic Ornithology focuses on binocular basics, basic birding techniques, principles of birding ethics, understanding bird behavior, bird groups & classification, habitat, ecological niches, bird vocalizations, identifying field marks, bird ecology, migration, attracting birds to your yard and more!

Twelve-week program; Friday; 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.; August 31 to November 16

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Field Ornithology: Waterfowl Course focuses on our winter waterfowl migrants, as well as our other year-round residents that live near our water habitats.

Six-week program; January to February

*Includes all-day field trip to the coast on one of the days


Field Ornithology: Spring Breeding focuses on habitat selection, courtship displays, territorial displays, breeding plumage, song, mating systems, incubation, parental care, nests, juvenile plumage and more!

Eight-week program; March to May (no class Masters Week)