Introduction to Birdwatching

Course Description: Birdwatching is a truly rewarding activity, providing a mix of enjoyment, exercise and relaxation. Birdwatching can be enjoyed just about anywhere including your backyard, a local park, or on an exotic vacation. The course is designed to introduce you to this growing international pastime enjoyed by millions of people of all ages around the globe. The Montreal region is conveniently located in one of the major North American migration paths, or fly-ways, providing birdwatchers with the opportunity to observe hundreds of different species each year. The course, comprised of six 2-hour lectures, (total 12 hours), followed by a field trip in the Montreal region, includes information and instruction on the origin of birds and birdwatching identifying species by sight, sound and behaviour identifying birding habitats and regions in and around Montreal and southern Quebec using field guides, checklists, on-line resources, software and apps for birdwatching choosing and using optics such as binoculars and spotting scopes attracting and feeding birds at your home understanding bird migration, mating and breeding habits getting involved in bird protection, research, conservation issues and citizen science projects.

About the Instructor: Sheldon Harvey, of Greenfield Park, Quebec, has been an avid birder for close to 15 years and has observed over 300 species of birds in the province of Quebec, all within a 100-kilometer radius of the city of Montreal. He is a Past President, and current Vice-President and Treasurer of Bird Protection Quebec, Quebec’s oldest birding and conservation organization that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. Sheldon is an experienced birdwatching field trip leader and has taught self-developed introductory birdwatching courses at SSMU-McGill University, with ENCORE Seniors Group and the Contactivity Group in Montreal. He is currently a consultant with the Richelieu Valley School Board, introducing birdwatching and nature studies to elementary school students in their network of schools. He is also a regular presenter of lectures on various aspects of birdwatching to community groups and organizations throughout the province of Quebec lectures on various aspects of birdwatching to community groups and organizations throughout the province of Quebec.

Location: Online (Zoom links will be provided)

Suggested Materials:

  • Binoculars (if desired/optional)
  • Computer/laptop or tablet
  • Electronic versions of notes and materials will be provided