Learn to Identify Birds

In this course, birding enthusiast Alan Baczkiewicz will share his 40 years of birding experience and welcome you into one of the world's fastest growing hobbies! Learn the skills, techniques, books, and even equipment you'll need to start identifying birds today.

Watch Intro Video

Start Birdwatching Today!

- with Alan Baczkiewicz -

Detailed Course Description

During the course, Alan will show you what basic materials are needed to identify birds and how to use them quickly and effectively. To become a birdwatcher, you need to learn 4 basic skills. First, Alan will show what is needed in a field guide and then how to become familiar with that field guide to quickly identify birds. As part of the field guide experience, Alan will point out the concise information needed to understand the key to identifying birds - field marks. Next, Alan will teach you how to choose, adjust and use the binoculars that are necessary for seeing field marks that are critical for bird identification. Alan will then share techniques that he has used in learning bird songs over the years. What information to record when birdwatching will be the next topic of discussion. Finally, Alan will show how daily and seasonal conditions can affect the birding experience. The course finishes with a walk in which Alan demonstrates many of the tips presented in the course.

Who is this course for?

This course was created for the novice birdwatcher or the complete beginner. There are no age limits. Even very young students can be successful when birdwatching becomes a family activity. Amaze your family, friends and neighbors when you can quickly and confidently identify the birds you see!
Who is this course for?

Course Objectives

What you can expect to learn!

  • Learn what features are necessary in a field guide

  • Understand range maps to assist in identifying birds

  • Techniques to become familiar with the field guide you have chosen

  • Learn the features of binoculars and how to adjust them for your personal use

  • Learn to identify parts of birds when using field marks

  • Learn some of the field marks birds have and how they are important to identification

  • Learn strategies in how to remember bird songs

  • How to document your sightings and develop life-lists and other lists

  • How daily and seasonal changes affect birdwatching

  • And more!!!

Tools of the Trade

What does Alan recommend?

As a beginner to birding, you'll need a few new tools, such as a quality field guide and binoculars. Alan cuts to the chase and shares with you all of the guides, tools, and equipment you'll need to get off to a good start. These recommendations will save you countless hours (and dollars) sorting through the many options on your own.
Tools of the Trade

Meet Your Instructor

  • Alan Baczkiewicz

    Owner, BasicsofBirding.com

    Alan Baczkiewicz

    Alan has been an avid birder for nearly forty years. Alan is the author the blog, BasicsofBirding.com, in which he shares his passion of birdwatching and strives to help those who are just beginning to birdwatch, learn skills and tips in order to be successful at this exciting hobby. Alan has searched for birds across the U.S. over his birding career and is hoping to bird California and Texas in the near future to add to his life list currently stands at 435 species. Alan has been teaching sixth grade science and social studies for the past twenty years. He lives with his wife, Mary, and son, Henry in Western New York. They enjoy camping and traveling in New England.

Course Curriculum

  • 1
    Welcome!
    • Welcome from Alan Baczkiewicz
    • A Note on Recommendations
  • 2
    FIELD GUIDES
    • Introduction to Field Guides
    • Field Guide Features
    • Field Guide Features - Details
    • Top 3 Bird Field Guides
    • Becoming Familiar with Your Field Guide
    • Understanding Range Maps
    • Recommended Field Guides
  • 3
    FIELD MARKS
    • Bird Body Parts
    • Shape and Body Features
  • 4
    BINOCULARS
    • Types of Binoculars
    • Parts of Binoculars
    • How to Adjust Binoculars
    • Techniques for Using Binoculars
    • Used Binoculars: What to Look For
    • Recommended Binoculars
  • 5
    BIRD SONGS
    • Learning Bird Songs
    • Recommended Bird Song CDs
  • 6
    DOCUMENTATION
    • Documenting Your Sightings
    • Recommended Life List Journals
  • 7
    FINDING BIRDS
    • Time of Day and Year Influences
    • Field Trip: Ideas into Practice
    • Recommended Bird Finding Guides
  • 8
    Final Thoughts
    • Closing Thoughts