Cornell Spring Field Ornithology Course Goes Online

Cornell Spring Field Ornithology Course Goes Online

Lectures on birding and Northeast species available to everyone

Ithaca, N.Y.—The annual Spring Field Ornithology course is celebrating its 40th anniversary by reaching out to those who cannot take the course in person at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. For the first time, lectures will be available online to anyone, anywhere. Though species native to the Finger Lakes Region of New York will be discussed, course lectures are also packed with information about bird identification, migration, nesting, and other topics that are relevant to anyone hoping to improve their bird-watching skills.

The eight-week course is taking place March 23 through May 15. Visitbirds.cornell.edu/sfo to learn about the course schedule, lecture topics, fees, and weekend field trips where in-person participants may put their new skills into practice and enjoy the company of other learning bird watchers.

The new online component will run concurrently, with each Wednesday evening lecture available to online participants the following day. The online lectures will be hosted on the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy website.

The course is taught by Dr. Stephen Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society.

“I can think of no better way to greet the spring migrants than taking part in Spring Field Ornithology,” says Kress. “Whether people take the course in person or watch the lectures online, they’ll come away knowing much more about birds and appreciate them so much more. There’s great value in that at a time when so many species are in trouble. Plus, bird watching is just great fun.”

A staple of the Spring Field Ornithology course for those participating in person is Saturday or Sunday field trips to regional birding hotspots, such as Braddock Bay, Derby Hill, and Arnot Forest. Students are grouped with others of the same skill level on these field trips.

In-person participants may sign up for lectures only, just the weekend field trips, or both sections. Purchase of the in-person lecture series includes the online materials. If you miss a lecture you will be able to catch-up at your convenience. There are also two optional overnight trips.

The cost of the course for those who can attend in person is $200 for the lectures ($140 for online participants), $240 for the weekend field trips, or $420 for both sections. Cornell Lab of Ornithology members receive a discount.

Sign up before February 7, and get free access to two of the Cornell Lab’s self-paced online bird identification tutorials—a $58 value and great way to prepare for Spring Field Ornithology.

The 2016 Spring Field Ornithology course receives support from Wild Birds Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods and The Plantsmen Nursery.