Gordon leads classes in learning bird songs outdoors from the late winter through spring in Sonoma County, CA. Each class is limited to five participants in order to focus on listening together.

Class itinerary:

Day 1: Resident species, Riverfront Regional Park

Riverfront Park, on Eastside Road southwest of Windsor, has several different habitats within easy walking distance of the parking lot. This class focuses on resident bird species, so you will have a chance to learn them before the spring and summer migrants start arriving. Parking is currently $7.00, or use your Regional Parks Pass.

Day (evening) 2: Owling, Salmon Creek Road (Bodega)

This is actually an evening event, from before sunset to after dark, listening for the calls of several species of resident owls, and possible poorwills.

Day 3: Early migrants, Annadel State Park

Now the spring migrants are starting to arrive, and they are singing almost as soon as they land. We will meet at the Live Oak Trailhead on Channel Drive, where there is a large dirt parking lot, and walk east along the road, listening for Orange-crowned Warlbers, Wilson's Warblers, and other early migrant species.

Day 4: Dawn chorus, Willow Creek Rd

Now that you have experienced many of the local species, this is a great opportunity to hear nature's ever-changing concert. The class meets before dawn at the Sizzling Tandoor on Highway 1 just south of the Russian River bridge. From there, we will drive up to a quiet location on Willow Creek Rd to listen to the chorus, then later, we'll walk farther up the road.

Day 5: Late migrants, Armstrong Woods State Reserve

For the last class, we will meet in the main parking lot just inside Armstrong Woods, then drive on up the road towards Bullfrog Pond, stopping at select locations to listen for Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo, and others, finally reaching the ridgtop to look for Lazuli Buntings and possible Rufous-crowned Sparrows. The Park entrance fee (to drive up the ridge) is currently $8.00.

Class Schedule

If you are interested in taking classes, please email me at the blue contact link on the bottom of this page.

Due to the nature of our outdoor classroom, we will have to reschedule any rainy days.

Class hours

All class times (except for the owling) begin early in the morning. We will listen to and watch birds for roughly four to five hours each class session.

What to bring

Bring something to drink and a snack. It is also a good idea to dress in layers, as it can be quite cool in the morning (especially for Day 4 - dawn chorus). Other items to consider are binoculars (yes, this sounds funny, but I almost forgot mine once), a notepad/pen, and field guide. iPhones, iPods, Androids, and other mobile devices with bird call apps are allowed, but only to record sounds, not to play out loud. Please see the Ethics page for more information.

Class Registration

Each morning of class is $45 per person, or $200 for all five mornings (scholarships are available for low-income students), payable either by check or cash during class.

Please email the contact address below to register. If necessary, class dates can be adjusted to accomodate participants.

Horned Lark

Horned Lark

Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up these barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

–William Wordsworth


Website and photographs 2013 by Gordon Beebe