My New Avian Journey

So yesterday, I teased that I would be starting a new bird-related journey soon. Well, without further ado:



I will be taking the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Comprehensive course in Bird Biology!

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, I’m sure you know that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is one of my favorite places. It’s one of my main sources of avian information and we even took our 2016 vacation to Ithaca, NY specifically to go birding at the Lab (you can read about that here and here). As a Lab member, I’ve spent countless hours on their website reading articles, watching videos, taking webinars, and watching bird cams.

So when I learned about their Bird Biology class, I knew I had to take it. My dream is to be a Conservation Biologist/Environmental Scientist/Ornithologist, which is why when I’m not at my non-science related full-time job, I’m taking night/summer classes as a biology major. But when I found out about the Lab’s course, I knew it would exactly what I needed to start moving forward with my goals.

The Lab’s Bird Biology course is a university-level self-study course that anyone interesting in birds can take. The course was developed was by one of my favorite ornithologists, Dr. Kevin McGowan, as well as Dr. Sarah Wagner. (Side note: I took a webinar with Kevin McGowan a few winters ago: Odd Ducks and Wandering Waterfowl. If you’re interested in identification courses I recommend checking out his classes/webinars). The course consists of using the textbook (pictured above) and online resources, as well as multiple tests and quizzes for each chapter.

Pretty much anything you would want to know about birds can be found in this course. Topics covered throughout the 700-page book include anatomy, evolution, migration, vocal behavior, social behavior, ecology of populations, and flight to name a few topics. I’m so excited to dive even further into the avian world and share some of the information I learn with you!

If your interesting in learning about the Cornell Lab’s Bird Biology course check out their website.


Author: BirdNation

I am an avid birder, teacher, and nature lover. I primarily go birding in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but love to travel. I am currently a biology student with interests in conservation biology, ornithology, and environmental sciences. My dream is to go birding in all 50 states.

7 thoughts on “My New Avian Journey”

    1. Nice! I’m so excited to get started. I figured once my biology class ends at the beginning of August I could get started on this course. It will certainly give me something to do the last month of my summer break.


    1. Thank you! The world of birds is fascinating, I think you’ll enjoy learning about them. I started out taking small steps as well, just getting a beginner’s bird guide and starting with my basic backyard birds then taking it from there. Do you mind me asking what state you go birding in?


  1. I just bought the textbook and will be taking this same course! So excited, I have the same future plans as you and I feel like this will really help me take a step forward. Hopefully this helped you out!


    1. Thanks for subscribing! It’s cool to meet someone else with the same goal of studying birds.

      The course is awesome so far. The textbook is in-depth and explains everything very well. The web resources are also great. I slowed down my progress a bit because I’m also taking courses at college in addition to working, but I can’t wait to jump back into the bird course.

      You can’t go wrong with anything from the Cornell Lab. My introduction to them almost 5 years ago really sparked my interest in ornithology and I’ve learned so much through their website and bird cams. Enjoy!


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