Bird Academy

Bird Academy shares the wonder and joy of birds by providing a collection of online courses and access to live events from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, including free online bird-related public lectures, educational videos (such as why woodpeckers don’t suffer brain injuries when they peck) and birding-related games for kids.

Bird Academy is brought to the public by a team of biologists, educators, designers, developers, students, illustrators, and photographers who are passionate about birds and sharing their knowledge with others. The team’s mission is to serve birders, nature enthusiasts, and budding ornithologists by helping develop the skills and confidence needed to feed curiosity about birds heard in a backyard or further one’s education as a scientist. The interactive courses and multimedia-rich resources will lead into the fascinating lives of birds, from birding basics to comprehensive ornithology.

Bird Academy offers 16+ courses. Some are offered for free and some fee-based with course access to those who need financial assistance through a scholarship program. The courses, quizzes, and activities are all self-paced and the time involved to complete a course can vary from as little as an hour to 100 hours for Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology.

The most popular Bird Academy course is eBird Essentials which is free and takes about three hours to complete. This course is designed to show students how to explore birding hot spots, how to compile their sightings, and to share them for use by others in bird-related research and conservation.

Some course offerings include:

  • eBird Essentials (3+ hours to complete)
  • Joy of Birdwatching (10+ hours to complete)
  • Inspiring Investigations through Citizen Science (20+ hours to complete)
  • Be a Better Birder 1: Size and Shape (1+ hour to complete)
  • Be a Better Birder 2: Color and Pattern (2+ hours to complete)
  • Be a Better Birder: How to Identify Bird Songs (3+ hours to complete)
  • Be a Better Birder: Warbler Identification (16+ hours to complete)
  • Nature Journaling and Field Sketching (10+ hours to complete)
  • Bird Photography with Melissa Groo (10+ hours to complete)
  • Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology (100+ hours to complete)

What can Bird Academy offer lands trusts?

The courses and resources can serve as great educational tools for staff, members, and donors, and provide the tools you need to find, ID, and connect with birds to further your conservation mission. For example, a land steward could take a course to learn how to identify bird species that your land trust might want to target to assess the effectiveness of your land management practices or be required to monitor in the parcel’s management plan.