An introduction to ornithology with birdwatching

Course Dates: 29/04/20 - 27/05/20
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Brenna Boyle

Explore the life of birds and learn about bird evolution, tips for identification and key behaviours before having a chance to put your skills into practice on two field trips in London (St James' Park and Hampstead Heath).

Three sessions at Build and two off-site. All 14.00-16.00.

Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital; London's wildlife discovery service and also works for two urban environmental education charities.


What is the course about?

This course aims to introduce participants to the world of birds and birdwatching, looking at all of the different aspects of this very familiar, much loved and sometimes maligned group of animals. The course looks at everything from the origin of birds from reptiles, their body structure, behaviour (including migration), breeding, feeding, threats and conservation. The focus will be birds of the UK, but with an overview of the diversity of birds which can be found throughout the globe. The course will provide practical identification techniques and an auditory introduction to birdsong. These skills can then be developed over two outdoors field trips in London green spaces, with the aim of adding wonder and enjoyment to your everyday travels.

What will we cover?

Classroom sessions based at Build, 14:00 - 16:00hrs:
- Bird evolution and structure
- Bird identification and fieldcraft
- Bird behaviour and migration

Off-site walks 14:00 - 16:00hrs. Locations:
- St James' Park
- Hampstead Heath.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- - Describe how birds evolved from reptiles
- Describe the basic structure of birds including feather structure
- Identify several different species based on simple learned tips
- Appreciation the diversity of birdsong and be able to recognise the songs of several different species
- Become a good birdwatcher: outline the skills and techniques required to watch, identify and better understand birds
- Recognise and identify the different behaviour elements of birds (breeding behaviour, calling and singing, habitat-specific behaviour, finding food, avoiding predators)
- Describe some of the complexities of migration
- Outline some of the main threats and conservation initiatives for birds.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required. However, you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and participate fully in discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught in a number of different ways including presentations with visual examples, discussions and group work. In addition, there will be 2 'field trips' held at the end of the course which will be visits to green spaces within London. Attendees will need to make their own way to the sites.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Bring a notepad and pen. There are no additional costs for the course (other than your own travel to the sites for the field trips). We would highly recommend appropriate outdoor clothing including suitable footwear for the field trips.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HS187 British nature writing: its history and changing perspectives
HS099 Walking London's Rivers
HS172 Walking London's Woodlands.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 4 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Excellent Introductory Course. Very informed yet relaxed tutor.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 18/05/2019)
I loved this course in 2018: the classroom sessions were fascinating and the field trips even more so. The tutor is very knowledgeable, passionate about her subject and superb at putting over what she knows.
Course Rating
Review by Tim Haines / (Posted on 12/06/2018)
I really enjoyed this course. I've liked the idea of bird watching for a while but had no idea of how to start. This course was brilliant in teaching the basics of everything you need to know to get started as well as extra knowledge on the evolution of birds and current threats to bird welfare. I've definitely gained enough confidence to now go out and start birdwatching.
Course Rating
Review by Meri / (Posted on 25/09/2017)
Having done several courses with this tutor, I was not disappointed, and enjoyed this course as much as I did the others. As a newbie in birdwatching and having an interest in wildlife, this course went a long way towards me understanding bird behaviour, enabling me to take better photographs of these beautiful creatures and maybe help towards their conservation.
Course Rating
Review by Wilf / (Posted on 19/06/2017)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HS090

Wed, day, 29 Apr - 27 May '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £99.00
Senior fee: £79.00
Concession: £44.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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