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