Bird ID course for new birdos

To: "" <>
Subject: Bird ID course for new birdos
From: Hosking Tim <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2011 23:05:55 +0000
Hi All, 

Just thought I'd drop this group an email regarding a recent successful venture 
by David Geering and myself here in Dubbo - running a bird ID course targeted 
at novice birdos and generally interested people. 

We had 20 signups (max class size) within a week just by word-of-mouth.  We've 
now filled two further courses (one for Zoo staff/volunteers and another 
general community course) quite easily. 

So that's 60+ people who are keen in a place the size of Dubbo. Imagine what 
you could do in larger cities.  I'd recommend trying something like it for 
those finding local interest/membership on the slide or if you just want to 
'give back' to the birding community. 

For those interested, the course was designed as below:

We secured a free venue provided by Council and designed the course to cover:
Night 1) intro, bird 'background - theory, science and terms
Night 2) Bird ID process (how to use a field guide, tips)
Night 3) Birding tips/tricks, gear 
Sunday morning - a half-day field trip to local spots. 

The course ran over three weeks x 1.5 hrs night session and one field day. We 
used, with permission, some of Fiona Lumsden's excellent sketch art.

A tag-team approach to presenting worked well, especially around those more 
contentious topics eg which field guide is the best. The tact, of course, is 
not to rote learn birds but to teach them how to ID using guides and generally 
raise their awareness of the number of bird species around them and their needs.

Happy to discuss with anyone who might want to give it a try!

Cheers Tim Hosking, Dubbo Field Nats. 

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