Sparrows & Raptors: Winter Birding With Jason Ward - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Sparrows & Raptors: Winter Birding With Jason Ward

$250 per person Online Experience
6 sessions
Up to 30 people
See Dates
$250 per person
United States
$250 per person
United States See Dates
What We’ll Do

Course Description

In this six-part seminar with Jason Ward, dive into the world of North American raptors and sparrows and learn the intricacies of identifying those in your city or town.

While this class is designed for birders of all levels, it can serve as an appropriate next step for those who took Jason’s previous Atlas Obscura online course, Fall Birding.

This winter, learn to spot birds large and small alongside science communicator, birder, and host of Birds of North America, Jason Ward. We’ll cover the basics of winter birding, with a special focus on two kinds of birds that tend to fall on different ends of the size spectrum: raptors and sparrows. We’ll learn how to spot, identify, and better understand the birds of prey and sparrows soaring through our neighborhoods or perched on the branches of our backyards during the colder months. Our final session will take the form of a virtual bird walk led by Jason and attended by students across all three winter birding sections. By the end of our six weeks together, you’ll have access to newly honed winter birding skills as well as a dispersed community of fellow birders with whom you can discuss findings, track progress, and talk birds.

Note: If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course at this time, a limited number of no-pay spots are available. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course.

Syllabus at a Glance

Section A

There are six total sessions included in this purchase. The first five sessions will take place on Monday evenings, each lasting for 1.5 hours. The final session, a two-hour virtual bird walk, will take place on Saturday, February 27.

Session 1 (Monday, 1/25/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): So you want to be a birder: bird parts & lingo

Session 2 (Monday, 2/1/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Size and shape

Session 3 (Monday, 2/8/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Birding by ear

Session 4 (Monday, 2/15/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Family breakdown

Session 5 (Monday, 2/22/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Tricky bird ID

Session 6 (Saturday, 2/27/2021, 10 AM–12 PM ET): Virtual bird walk (Join Jason and students from across all three winter birding sections!)

Section B

There are six total sessions included in this purchase. The first five sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings, each lasting for 1.5 hours. The final session, a two-hour virtual bird walk, will take place on Saturday, February 27.

Session 1 (Wednesday, 1/27/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): So you want to be a birder: bird parts & lingo

Session 2 (Wednesday, 2/3/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Size and shape

Session 3 (Wednesday, 2/10/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Birding by ear

Session 4 (Wednesday, 2/17/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Family breakdown

Session 5 (Wednesday, 2/24/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Tricky bird ID

Session 6 (Saturday, 2/27/2021, 10 AM–12 PM ET): Virtual bird walk (Join Jason and students from across all three winter birding sections!)

Section C

There are six total sessions included in this purchase. The first five sessions will take place on Friday evenings, each lasting for 1.5 hours. The final session, a two-hour virtual bird walk, will take place on Saturday, February 27.

Session 1 (Friday, 1/29/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): So you want to be a birder: bird parts & lingo

Session 2 (Friday, 2/5/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Size and shape

Session 3 (Friday, 2/12/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Birding by ear

Session 4 (Friday, 2/19/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Family breakdown

Session 5 (Friday, 2/26/2021, 7–8:30 PM ET): Tricky bird ID

Session 6 (Saturday, 2/27/2021, 10 AM–12 PM ET): Virtual bird walk (Join Jason and students from across all three winter birding sections!)

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 20 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Jason Ward
Jason Ward

Jason Ward is a birder, science communicator, and the host of Birds of North America. Born and raised in The Bronx, NYC, his love for wildlife began when he fell in love with dinosaurs at a young age. This infatuation provided him with an escape from the obstacles that growing up in the south Bronx presented. Jason’s mission is to impact, inspire, and instill in those around him a greater appreciation for wildlife, and to blaze a trail for future generations of conservationists growing up in underrepresented communities. In early 2020, he was named one of the Grist 50, an annual list of emerging leaders from across the U.S. who are working on “fresh, real-world solutions to our world’s biggest challenges.” Jason recently co-organized the launch of “Black Birders Week,” a week of events celebrating diversity in birding. He's also the host of the award-winning Birds of North America, a web series that aims to provide a fresh take on birds and birding. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @jasonwardny and @BlackAFinSTEM. 

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

Group Size

There are 30 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
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