Explore the fascinating world of bird songs and calls in this beginner-intermediate course. Learn to identify and interpret the sounds of the birds around you!

This course will cover:

  •  Identifying a range of birds by their songs and other calls
  • Visual identification using field signs, behaviour, and habitat 
  • Learning to distinguish between alarms, contact calls, territorial calls and other vocalisations
  • Learning a variety of techniques for memorising bird calls 
  • Applying bird call recognition for surveys and bird conservation
  • Learning how interpreting bird calls can enable us to see more wildlife

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This beginner-intermediate bird song course will enable you to engage more with the natural world by getting to know the birds around you. You will learn a variety of ways to identify birds by their song and other types of call, helping you to accurately record species. You will also cover some visual identification based on markings, behaviour and habitat, and you will also learn to interpret bird behaviour and calls as an effective way to discover what other wildlife is around.

You will use a variety of techniques to help memorise bird song, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the different kinds of bird call (e.g. alarms, contact calls and juvenile begging), how to recognise these and how to understand what they can tell us about the wider environment. You will explore how identifying and interpreting bird calls can help you read more of what is happening in your surroundings, and can help you to have closer encounters with a wide range of wildlife.

There will be some classroom sessions and plenty of time outside to listen and practice under the guidance of your expert tutor.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Confidently identify a range of birds by their songs.
  • Recognise a range of other bird vocalisations.
  • Display a greater awareness of how these skills can be put into practice for both nature connection and bird conservation.

Who should attend? – anyone with a general interest in birds as well as students, conservation volunteers, and professionals wanting to improve their skills.

Knowledge level – Beginner-Intermediate. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior knowledge – no prior knowledge is required for this course, just a willingness to explore and learn!

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation, or meal facilities provided with this course. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be available. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Dan Puplett

Dan Puplett is a naturalist, conservationist and environmental educator. He is a certified tracker and teaches a range of naturalist skills to people of all ages.

Example Timetable

Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am.
There will be a one-hour lunch break during the day. Lunch is not included so please bring your own food. Refreshments (tea and coffee) will be provided.
The course will finish at 17:00pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression
  • Refreshments (tea and coffee)

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Small bag to carry personal items

If you have them:

  • Binoculars
  • Your own reference book(s)

Recommended Literature

When you book this course, you will receive a discount code for the Field Studies Council recommended guides below.

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Sat 27, April 2024 10:00 - Sun 28, April 2024 17:00

    The centre is unable to offer accommodation with this course, please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays and ensure you take out the appropriate insurance. Car Park information can be found here.

    Bennachie Visitor Centre, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Scotland, AB51 5HY
    Dan Puplett

No current dates for this course? Click here to view all the upcoming Natural History courses.

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, including online course materials, expert tuition and a flexible learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Click here to find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.