This beginner 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!

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 like-minded 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. 

Please arrive at 09:30am so that introductions can be completed and we can make the most of the morning outdoors.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career ecologists, birdwatchers.

Knowledge Level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: 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

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/bespoke team courses. Click here to find out more!

If we are unable reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 14 days prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Tutor: Anne Brenchley

Anne was born and brought up in Kent and has been a keen birdwatcher from a very early age. She was awarded a Zoology degree and a PhD from Aberdeen University (studying Rooks) and went on to spend most of her working career, until 2011, with Natural England and its predecessors. She has been a Regional Rep for the British Trust for Ornithology since 2000 in Flintshire and Wrexham, organising and taking part in surveys and also helping other volunteers. She is also a fully qualified bird ringer and the main author of the Breeding Birds of North Wales published in 2013. Anne is now an independent ecological/horticultural consultant and lead birdwatching/wildlife walks on a weekly basis.

Example Timetable


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

Please note accommodation and an evening meal is not included.

What's Included

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.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Camera or phone to capture images if you have one
  • Your own refreshments & pack lunch
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Bird ID book/guide - our tutor recommends:

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 booking is closed