Field Study of Birds

Ref: C3125501

The course will begin with an examination of the field identification of pairs or trios of species that are very similar and are often difficult to separate in the field. Both plumage and voice will be considered as well as behaviour and habitat distinctions. Time will be allotted to any requests made by students to look at any specific group or family of birds.There will be one field meeting during the term and also the opportunity to participate in a more prolonged bird tour abroad later on. The course is structured to help all levels of birding experience of students.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to help students identify species of birds that they may see whilst out bird-watching or simply enjoying nature and the countryside

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify, in the field, species covered in the classroom
  • Understand breeding and migration of species
  • Where,how and when to look for bird species
  • Understand about moult and bird topography
  • Understand a bird`s status

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be encouraged to expand your birding experiences both on your own and in company of other students as well as joining a local or national bird organisation

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • There will be opportunities to put your skills to the test on the field meeting where the tutor will be able to guide and advise where needed

What else do I need to know?

  • A good field guide is really helpful to have with you. The Collins Bird Guide is probably the best. A pair of binoculars will be needed on any field visits

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Joining an RSPB local group to make friends with like-minded people and expand ornithological experience

Download full Course information sheet

Field Study of Birds


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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