Spring is here and with the lengthening days, birds (including migrant birds) are singing their hearts out! Anyone is a naturalist if they are a student of the natural world so newbies please join us! We’ll go over the basics with you in this skills class. Been birding before, but need a skills refresher? Field time is all you need. Bring your sense of wonder, questions, and knowledge to share with others.
We birders focus primarily on identifying birds by plumage, colors and field markings during our outdoor explorations. However, tuning your ear to bird’s songs and vocalizations is a next-level way to land your ID, even when visibility for birds is poor. The trouble is it can be tricky to learn as birds make many vocalizations, and many are similar. That’s why we’re so glad to welcome IslandWood naturalist and docent, Mark Salvadalena, who will teach you how to listen for key features in bird chatter and song to arrive at a proper ID – even without seeing the bird.
In this class we will cover:
- How to identify common birds by the various sounds they make, including spring migrants only here for a season
- How to use apps such as Merlin Bird ID, and community-science databases such as ebird.org, and tips on the best educational websites to continue your ornithological study
- As always, we will explore the ways people approach deep nature study, reflection and have lots of time for questions and practice in the field
Your instructors for this session will be Mark Salvadalena and Christina Woolf.
Mark is a recreation instructor with Bainbridge Island Parks. He has led bird walks for 15 years for organizations such as Olympic National Park, New York City Parks, and Seattle Audubon. We’re so honored that Mark is one of IslandWood’s docents, and a skillful ornithologist and naturalist.
Christina Woolf is IslandWood’s veteran staff naturalist who is serious about nature-study in a fun-loving way. Christina is a Master Birder (Seattle Audubon, 2011), WDFW Wetland Monitor (2014), Certified Beach Naturalist (2014), and Certified Interpretive Guide (National Association of Interpretation (2015), and has been joyfully teaching environmental education for over 20 years.
THINGS TO KNOW
- This class is rain or shine, so please dress in layers and always bring a rain layer, gloves and hat at this time of year.
- Due to the content and pace of this program, we are listing this as an adults only class.
- Please remember our campus policy is ‘no dogs unless they are a service animal.’
- We always cap off our hikes with a sweet treat of our homemade cookies too!