Birding and Beyond Fall 2023

  • All students must complete a project for this class.
  • Instructor: Sherry Manison    
  • Location: Various birding spots around the county
  • Day/Time: Thursdays 9 - 11 AM
  • Grades K-12  Parents are required to accompany pre-teen children.
  • Classes must begin and be attended in September. Please contact the instructor with any questions about class dates.

Birding and Beyond is a great introduction to the world of nature! Our main focus will be on birds, but we will also notice other flora and fauna around us. Students will learn to be more aware of the birds around them wherever they go, particularly around their own homes. We will learn to recognize birds in the wild using their common names, and develop a beginning familiarity with their habits, habitats, migration patterns, bird families, identifying features, and some basic bird anatomy, including feathers, beaks, and bills. We will introduce being in tune to bird sounds, recognizing that learning the songs of birds can help us identify them. 

Studying birds and being outside to observe them will open doors for other nature areas. During each semester we will have a class or two on other aspects of nature, such as frogs, flowers, ecology, etc. ‚Äč

Birds are more active in the mornings and evenings. Therefore, we will meet from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. on ten Thursdays during the semester, in-person if possible. If we are rained out (or snowed!), we will accommodate. Love Creek will be our in-person home base and the site of our first class, but we will also go birding at different locations and habitats around the county. 

Birding and Beyond Syllabus


  • Depending on our “And Beyond” part of the class, we may need to meet one Thursday evening during the semester. 
  • If face-to-face, we will meet formally for a short time, and use the remaining class time to look for birds in the woods, prairie, beach, swamp, and other habitats. If necessary, we will divide the class into two groups, an hour per group. If we are online, our whole class will meet for an hour on Zoom. You need to have two hours of birding per class, so if we go to one-hour classes, each family group will be asked to go to suggested spots on their own for at least an hour outside of class, and report back. The internet is useful for resources, so we may opt to do a zoom class once or twice during the semester, even if we are otherwise face-to-face.  
  • Required Materials: Bring your own binoculars (8x42 or 10x42 are most common), and dress for the outdoors. A field guide is handy, but not required.  

*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.

Teacher of Record: Tom Hurst