Friday, February 3, 2012

Spring Field Ornithology course at Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Love birds?  Curious about them? Looking for something fun to do this spring?  For 35 years, bird watchers of all abilities in central NY have enthusiastically anticipated the beginning of the Spring Field Ornithology, an 8-week course offered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with sections designed for the complete beginner to the most avid birder. The 2012 course begins Wednesday, March 21 and runs through May 13th.


The class consists of Wednesday night lectures, Saturday and Sunday field trips to regional birding hotspots such as Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, Derby Hill Hawkwatch, Montezuma, Sapsucker Woods and Dryden Lake.  Two overnight trips to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and the Cape May NJ area are course highlights. The lecture section also includes two visits to the bird collection of the Cornell Museum of Vertebrates and a nighttime 'owl prowl.'  

Your instructors are Steve Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation for National Audubon, guest lecturers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and weekend trips led by local birding experts. The weekly field trips are organized by beginning, intermediate and advanced birding levels, with instruction tailored to the interests and abilities of each group. There is a sense of community that builds throughout the course, and many people enjoy the trips so much that they return to take them year after year with their friends!  

Enrollment is open to the general public, ages 12 and older.  You may sign up for just the lectures, the 8 weeks of guided field trips, just the overnights or all course sections.  Discounts available for members of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

See the website to watch a video about the course, look at photos, review the course schedule and to enroll:  Although most people do not take the course for credit, university students may take the course for credit by making arrangements for an independent study with their advisor.  Scholarships are available. 

For questions, contact Erica Marx, SFO Course Coordinator, at or 607-254-2466.  See you out birding!

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