Online Class: Bird Watching 101 — Food, Feeders and Behavior

This in-depth bird watching class covers bird identification and location, feeding, types of birdhouses, equipment, emergency care and behavior and habitats of birds from your local area to the entire world.

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  • 11
  • 23
    Exams &
  • 5
    average time
  • 0.5

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.

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Course Motivation

There is a great deal of joy that can be derived from an afternoon spent watching these beautiful creatures. 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. Many families share bird watching across generations, with grandparents and grandchildren often finding a shared interest when they are bird watching together. Children are naturally fascinated with animals and nature, and grandparents who have been bird watching for years can teach their grandchildren a great deal while enjoying the time spent together. They can also expand this into activities such as building bird houses or feeders and studying field guides and keeping notes of birds discovered. Few activities bridge the generation gap as easily as bird watching.

Bird watching is an activity that can be enjoyed with a minimal investment from just about anywhere. Technically you need nothing but your eyes, although an inexpensive pair of binoculars and a field guide can come in handy in spotting more birds and more easily identifying them. More serious bird watchers, sometimes referred to as birders, can become extremely knowledgeable in the details of bird behavior, including molting, migratory patterns, and habitats. Birders also frequently travel to various locations and attempt to track especially rare or unusual species.

Bird watching field guides can help you identify the many different types of birds you may see and understand which ones you should watch for in your region. Generally field guides include detailed pictures of the birds and information on plumage, habits such as nesting and mating, and their normal habitats.

Interest in the beauty and diversity of North American birds first began with John J. Audubon's publication of The Birds of America. The four volume series was published between 1827 and 1838 and contained a total of 1,065 life-sized portraits of birds that caused a sensation in England and Europe. The portraits showed birds posed naturally in their natural habitats, which had never been done previously. The realism and sense of motion the pictures conveyed stirred interest in hundreds of amateur ornithologists. At this time, however, bird watching was still primarily an activity for the wealthy, since most middle class individuals didn't have the time or resources to set aside for bird watching.

In 1880, Wells B. Cook organized a large group of amateurs to watch and report on the movements of birds to the United States Department of Agriculture. He published the results in 1888 in a voluminous report on bird migratory routes. This was the first use of bird watchers in a serious study of this type and sparked the initial interest in bird watching in North America.

Bird watching became even more popular as a hobby for the average American during the 1930's, when Roger Tory Peterson published a series of field guides that featured detailed paintings of a wide variety of birds along with a simplified method of identifying birds. This identification system included observation of details of areas such as the wings, tail and breast feathers as a way to differentiate between species of birds. His taxonomy was later broadened by others and developed into a system that was used to simplify the identification of a variety of other animals.

Today, bird watchers are called upon to participate in activities such as censuses of bird populations and the charting of migratory patterns. The Audubon Society (named for John J. Audubon) and other groups interested in ornithology use these "citizen scientists" to help identify and track changes in bird populations, the progress of conservation efforts and the impact of possible environmental problems.

With the current popularity of bird watching as a form of education and relaxation as well as a recognized contribution to conservation efforts, it seems obvious that bird watching will continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.

Do you wish you had a greater knowledge of the variety of species of birds that call your backyard home?

Have you spotted a bird you've never seen before and are eager to identify it?

From the majestic birds of prey, eagles, ospreys and hawks, to the tiniest finches, wrens and hummingbirds--unearthing your inner bird watcher is a wonderful way to uncover a stress and boredom busting hobby that can draw your entire family closer together.

The course is centered upon helping you accomplish four primary goals: 

  1. Developing an enriching hobby that’s inexpensive and a meaningful way to combat both stress and boredom
  2. To immerse yourself in and be engrossed by the fascinating behavior birds exhibit
  3. To promote a healthier garden and environment by welcoming a yard full of birds
  4. To explore how you can transform your property into a refuge for birds, as well as what you should do in the event of any emergencies.

One thing is for sure, the more time you spend watching birds, the more you’ll want to learn!

Best of all, this bird watching course is build completely around your convenience. You're totally free to attend when (and only when) your family and schedule permit. Add to that the fact that all of the materials you’ll need for successful completion are included in the lessons, and you’ve got a class perfect for any bird enthusiast--beginning or experienced! Enroll today to get started!

If you were asked to name ten different species of birds, what would your list look like? Maybe something like this?
  1. Crows
  2. Ducks
  3. Chickens
  4. Cardinals
  5. Blue jays
  6. Woodpeckers
  7. Hawks
  8. Vultures
  9. Peacocks
  10. Pheasants

Of course, there are many more species to choose from than a mere ten. Did you know that there are almost 9,000 different species of birds--and those are just the ones we already know about!!! As humans explore the inner sanctums of previously uncharted territories, even more new species are being discovered.

Over the course of eleven in-depth lessons, you'll cover quite a bit of territory yourself…

Lesson 1: The Joys of Bird Watching

Lesson 2: Where to Find the Birds

Lesson 3: Tools for Bird Watching

Lesson 4: Feeding Your Birds

Lesson 5: Bird Feeders & Bird Baths

Lesson 6: Bird Houses

Lesson 7: How to Identify Birds

Lesson 8: Seasonal Bird Watching

Lesson 9: Bird Watching Emergencies

Lesson 10: More Information and Further Reading

Lesson 11: Questions and Answers

Each of the lessons is self-paced and all of the class materials you'll need are provided from the moment you first enroll. Although the class is self-paced, each lesson must be completed sequentially. This means that you won't be able to access Lessons 2 or 3 until you’ve first finished the reading, assignments and quizzes for Lesson 1, and so on.

You can monitor your progress by measuring your performance on the lesson review quizzes and the individual assignments. In the end, you'll need to maintain an average overall score of 70% or better in order to successfully "pass" the course.

If at any time along the way, you come across information that leaves you confused or with questions in need of answers, you can easily (and quickly) address your concerns by sending over a quick email to your instructor via the Class Email Form, which you can find under the Communications tab. She’s be back in touch with you shortly with an in-depth explanation that helps to clarify things…

You don't have to live in the country or other rural settings in order to enjoy the wonders of bird watching. As a matter of fact, birds are just about anywhere you can find people--beaches, big cities, parks, forests, grasslands--you name it!

Bird Watching isn't just for grandfathers and Boy Scouts! Men and women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds are turning back to nature for the tranquility and solace we once used to find. If you’re ready to grab your binoculars and join the millions of avid bird watchers in our country and from around the world, then what are you waiting for?

Since enrollment is always open on a 24-hour basis, there's no longer any logical reason to keep putting your self-development off for another day. Simply sign up now to start enjoying the excitement of finding and catching (in photos only, of course) new and fascinating birds to add to your collection!

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Lesson 1: The Joys of Bird Watching

An enjoyable and inexpensive hobby for the whole family. Additional lesson topics: Audubon magazine; Robins: Several eggs, Several weeks 117 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Bird Watching Background; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1: Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: In the beginning
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Where to Find the Birds

From backyards to forests, grasslands to seashores, bird watching is a fascinating activity. 21 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Tools for Bird Watching

From Binoculars to books, identification tools are an important part of bird watching. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Feeding Your Birds

Healthy ideas to attract birds to your yard. Additional lesson topics: Types of Bird Feeders; How to Squirrel-Proof a Birdfeeder; Birds of the British Isles 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Bird Feeders and Bird Baths

The different kind of feeders and bird baths that attract birds. Additional lesson topics: Types of Bird Feeders; Bird Baths; Squirrel Proof 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Bird Houses

Placement and materials needed to attract a variety of birds. Additional lesson topics: Adding Nesting Material to Bird Houses; Kids Crafts 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: How to Identify Birds

Markings,size,and behavior can help determine species as well as a good field guide. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Lesson discussions: What's Your Favorite Bird Type?
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Seasonal Bird Watching

The different varieties of birds and their behavior with the changing seasons. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Bird Watching Emergencies

What steps to take if you find an injured or abandoned bird. 114 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: New Bird
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: More Information and Further Reading

Great books and websites that promote bird watching. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment

Lesson 11: Questions and Answers

Some interesting questions and facts about birds. Additional lesson topics: Attracting Birds to Your Backyard; Murmation; Attracting Birds to Your Feeder 135 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Course Poll; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete Assignment: Final Thoughts
  • Assessment: Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

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

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Bird Watching 101: Food, Feeders and Behavior
Course Number: 8900278
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: March 2024
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "This was a great teacher and she was wonderful with feedback about questions and ideas in reference to more information." -- Sherry F.
  • "This was the first course I have taken on Universal Class. I was impressed by the course material. The instructor was great - made comments on my assignments and grades. Overall a great experience." -- Mary L.
  • "Nancy is a great instructor. I've had her for 2 courses now and have thoroughly enjoyed them both." -- Kathleen S.
  • "Love her, awesome instructor!" -- Karen W.
  • "Instructor was wonderful." -- Margo L.
  • "Enjoyed this course very much." -- Tracy O.
  • "This course was presented in a very interesting and engaging format. The instructor was informative and pleasant. I enjoyed her inclusion of photographs and quotations that pertained to backyard bird watching. I'm encouraged to continue research on my own with the links she provided." -- janet J.