This introductory bird course provides a gentle introduction, covering aspects of common bird biology, ecology and behaviour.

An engaging course to introduce novices to our feathered neighbours in nature; learners will appreciate the basic biology of a bird and how that model has been illimitably adapted!

Location: Avon Wildlife Trust – Grow Wilder, 181 Frenchay Park Rd, Bristol, BS16 1HB
This fabulous nook of nature within Bristol has the vision to become a place to engage and inspire the local people while actively supporting nature.

Even in an urban environment the variety of species and their distinctive behaviours can be observed and better understood under the guidance of an engaging, experienced expert in the field.
There will be ample time to explore your surrounding environment allowing you to spot some species and learn valuable field observational skills as you start out your journey into the birding world. Be inspired and engaged by the expertise of our specialist tutor and enjoy being surrounded by likeminded individuals to share your interests.

If you’re interested in finding out more about birds but don’t feel quite ready for a specific field ID course, then this course is for you!

There is no accommodation provided with this course

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists, Keen birdwatchers.

Knowledge Level

Introductory. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

What will be covered during this course?

  • An introduction to bird biology
  • An introduction to bird ecology
  • An overview of common garden birds encountered
  • An overview of bird calls and songs (season dependent)
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course

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

  • Describe basic bird taxonomy, anatomy, and morphology
  • Understand the basics of bird life cycles and behaviour
  • Recognise groups of common birds and how they are adapted to their habitat in behaviour and morphology
  • Identify several species of commonly encountered birds
  • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

This is a place-based training course from FSC, including a balance of classroom-led learning to impart important knowledge and irreplaceable hands-on outdoor learning opportunities to give individuals skills and confidence.

After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within the Birds learning framework through further relevant FSC courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The FSC offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the course and 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 fantastic tutor Sandy will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the skills and confidence to learn more about the lives and ecology of birds.

  • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Upon booking you will need to provide individual details of all attendees
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

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.

  • Discounted rates
  • Privately run courses for your group
  • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Email [email protected] to discuss your options! 

Tutor: Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill worked for the FSC over a decade, teaching at 9 centres in England and Wales. Having recently retired, he’s now exploring more of Pembrokeshire as a keen birder and enthusiastic natural historian. However, he is happiest when able to share his knowledge and love of the environment.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

Wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).

  • Maintains social distancing.
  • Cleans their hands regularly.
  • Takes a Covid-19 lateral flow test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect

    • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am
    • The course will end at 5:00pm
10:00am Introductions
10:45am Classroom session covering Basic Bird Biology:

  • Taxonomy
  • Anatomy
  • Morphology
11:15am Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
11:30am Guided walk to do initial observations of birds and identify habitats
12:30pm Classroom session covering Basic Bird Ecology

  • Life cycles
  • Diets
  • Habitats
  • Adaptations
1:00pm Lunch – Not provided
1:45pm Classroom session covering common garden and parkland bird identification

  • Key species
  • Identifying features
  • Naming the parts of a bird for ID purposes
2:15pm Guided walk to apply classroom knowledge
4:00pm Classroom session covering further strategies for common garden and parkland bird identification

  • More unusual species
  • Bird vocalisations: calls, songs and other sounds
4:30pm Review learning

  • Q&A session
  • Multiple Choice quiz/next steps
5:00pm End of course

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

What’s included?

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the FSC is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

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

PLEASE NOTE lunch, refreshments and accommodation are not included

Before You Attend

Before you attend:

What to Bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Camera to capture images
  • Please bring your own refreshments & pack lunch
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Binoculars (if you have them)

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 make any necessary adjustments.

Sorry this course has ended