Courses for the Public

Distance Learning

Common Terns fighting

Whether it’s an intensive 5-week online course, a self-paced, comprehensive college-level study of bird biology, or a live one-hour webinar about how to identify waterfowl, the Cornell Lab offers are many ways to take your learning to the next level.


Learn Your Ducks with the Lab’s New Online Course Learn to identify ducks, geese, swans, loons, grebes, and more with Cornell Lab ornithologist Dr. Kevin McGowan. Based on the popular webinar series, each lesson in this self-paced online course features a video tutorial followed by exercises and quizzes designed to help build your ID skills. Learn strategies for identifying birds at a glanc... Read More


Ask An Ornithologist Enjoy this 90-minute question-and-answer session with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Dr. Kevin J. McGowan, professional ornithologist, educator, and avid birder. This webinar was held August 26, 2015.     Each of our one-hour webinars consists of a live interactive presentation using photographs, videos, sounds, and audience feedback, and is followed by a q... Read More


For more than 40 years, thousands of people have learned about bird behavior, migration, ecology, conservation, and many other subjects with the Cornell Lab’s Home Study Course in Bird Biology. This course, using the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology, is no longer being sold. Those already enrolled have received access to online exam questions for each chapter, complete inst... Read More