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Class explores birding basics

Tom Jackson • Mar 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Ohio’s official state bird, the cardinal, is kind of hard to miss. It’s bright red.

And that guy with the white head, yellow beak and dark body in the big nest? You probably know he’s a bald eagle. After that, however, birding gets a little harder. It’s not always easy to tell one small brown bird apart from another small brown bird. Firelands Audubon Society is here to help. Local residents who want to try birding can enroll in the society’s annual bird identification class, taught by veteran birder Carol Andres. It will cover how birds look to observers — size, shape, structure and colors — how they sound as well as where they live and how they behave.    

The class will include Thursday-night sessions and Saturday-morning field trips.


Birding U

WHAT: Bird identification class

WHEN: 7-9 p.m. Thursdays, 8-10 a.m. Saturdays from April 3 to May 17

WHERE: Frost Center at Osborn Park on Thursdays, field trips on Saturdays

COST: $40, with scholarships available

CONTACT: Carol Andres by email at chickadee1956@yahoo.com   or call 419-639-3097

“I actually started actively birding by taking Carol’s class,” said Carol Landefeld, president of the Firelands Audubon Society, which counts about 230 members in Erie and Huron counties.

Birding is great fun, Landefeld said.

“It’s like a huge scavenger hunt” she said. “It also can be very social. It’s a group activity”

Andres has been a birder for more than 30 years and has taught the bird ID class for about 10 years.

Birding doesn’t require much in the way of tools. A field guide, which can range from $10 to $50, is useful for looking up birds and a pair of binoculars can be useful.

“Once you get going, you always want more field guides and more binoculars” Andres said.

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