Bird Watching 101: Food, Feeders and Behavior

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Course Description

Who do you think benefits the most from feeding and observing wild birds - the birds or us?  People of all ages, from all walks of life, study birds with interests that range from occasional pleasure viewing to an outright passion resulting in lengthy trips and major investments.  But one thing all bird watchers share is the excitement generated when a particular bird of interest or rarity is spotted -- similar to the thrill of the hunt, it satisfies our need to discover. Unlike traditional hunting, however, bird watching is about admiring the beauty of the birds in their natural habitats


Bird watching is such an exciting world to explore.  Amazing birds can even be found in your own backyard! There is a great deal of joy derived from an afternoon spent watching these beautiful creatures. Many families participate in bird watching across generations, with grandparents and grandchildren often finding a shared interest when they are bird watching together.


This self-paced online course covers bird identification and location, feeding, types of birdhouses, equipment, emergency care and behavior and habitats. Whether you are a casual backyard bird watcher or a serious enthusiast, you'll soon discover that the more you watch birds the more you will want to learn about them.

Course Requirements

There are no requirements for this course other than a high school reading level and a desire to learn more about North American wild birds.  I'll give suggestions for feeders, food and bird watching guides, but you won't need to have any of them to participate in the course.

Course Goals

There are many goals that I would like students to reach when taking this bird watching course.  Here are just a few:
1. Develop a wonderful hobby that helps with stress and boredom and doesn't cost a thing.
2.  Enrich your life by watching birds fascinating behaviors.
3.  Healthier garden, healthier environment by having a yard full of birds.
4.  Learn how to provide a refuge for birds and what to do in emergencies.

Course Materials

All course materials will be provided in your online classroom.

Course Structure

  1. Lesson 1: The Joys of Bird Watching
  2. Lesson 2: Where to Find the Birds
  3. Lesson 3: Tools for Bird Watching
  4. Lesson 4: Feeding Your Birds
  5. Lesson 5: Bird Feeders and Bird Baths
  6. Lesson 6: Bird Houses
  7. Lesson 7: How to Identify Birds
  8. Lesson 8: Seasonal Bird Watching
  9. Lesson 9: Bird Watching Emergencies
  10. Lesson 10: More Information and Further Reading


Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with an assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know reasons why people watch birds.
  • Describe the best places to watch birds.
  • Know the tools used to watch birds.
  • Describe the best practices for feeding birds.
  • Describe ways to identify birds, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
In the beginning100
Lesson 1: Assignment10
Lesson 1 Exam7
Lesson 2 Assignment10
Lesson 2 Exam11
Lesson 3 Assignment10
Lesson 3 Exam7
Lesson 4 Assignment10
Lesson 4 Exam5
Lesson 5 Assignment10
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Assignment10
Lesson 6 Exam8
Lesson 7 Assignment10
Lesson 7 Exam6
Lesson 8 Assignment10
Lesson 8 Exam6
New Bird100
Lesson 9 Assignment10
Lesson 9 Exam4
Lesson 10 Assignment10
Final Thoughts100
Final Exam35
Total Points:499

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