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Birding Classes

With Glenn Olsen

Classroom location: Houston Audubon's Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. 440 Wilchester Blvd., Houston, TX 77079. Telephone: 713-932-1639

Classroom sessions are normally held in the administration building which is the brick building you first come to on the gravel drive as you enter the sanctuary. On a rare occasion we meet in the log cabin, which is the second building.

Field trip locations: We will review all the details for the field trip in class. The instructor will be checking for bird activity the week of the class to maximize our opportunity to see birds. You will be provided info by email on what to bring and complete driving directions to our meeting location a few days before the field trip. 

Warbler Identification: April 7 and 11, 2020 - canceled

People come from all over the world to the Houston Audubon High Island Sanctuaries to experience the migration and arrival of the "jewels" of the bird world. Learn about the remarkable migration journey of these small and beautiful birds. Learn the principles to identify the 37 different species of warblers that are possible to see in our area. This class is open to all levels of birders and photographers.

Class: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, April 11, 2020 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

Breeding Birds of the Upper Coast: May 12 and 16, 2020

Our coastal beaches and marshes provide great breeding habitat for a wonderful diversity of birds. In this class, we will study those species of shorebirds, gulls, terns, hawks, wrens, rails, and many other groups of birds that nest and raise their young here. We will see these birds in their best breeding plumage and hopefully have an opportunity to study and enjoy the chicks and juvenile birds too.

Class: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, May 16, 2020 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

A Natural History of Texas and the Gulf Coast
at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University.

From the Big Thicket to Big Bend, and from the Rio Grande River to the Red River, Texas is one of the most biologically diverse states in the country. Stately pine forests, the spectacular Chihuahuan desert, and the Tamaulipan thornscrub are only a few of the amazing ecosystems. Our bays and rivers create a fertile and productive marine nursery and we are in the migration route of hundreds of species of birds, which makes our coastal prairies and marshes rich with ecological diversity. Discover the distinct characteristics and history of Texas’ 10 ecological zones, learn how common, rare and endangered plants and animals sustain one another and explore stories of naturalists throughout history who documented and celebrated the great diversity of this state. Taught by Glenn Olsen. Co-sponsored by Houston Audubon. Six classes on Thursday afternoons beginning on March 19, 2020. 

Glenn Olsen
Glenn Olsen


Glenn Olsen leads natural history and birding tours with GOBirding Ecotours and teaches bird identification, gardening for birds and butterflies, and nature-related classes through Rice University's Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Houston Audubon, Katy Prairie Conservancy, and the Texas Master Naturalist program. He has served on the Houston Audubon Board as Vice President of Education and also served as an Audubon Warden monitoring colonial nesting birds in Rockport, TX. Two of his many other efforts towards conservation include monitoring endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chickens at the Nature Conservancy's Texas City Preserve and co-founding the Wildscapes Workshop through the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) where he served as president of both the Houston Chapter and the State NPSOT. He has led field trips and/or given programs for meetings of the Texas Ornithological Society, Houston Audubon, Houston Arboretum, the Native Plant Society of Texas, Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Rockport Hummer/Bird Festival, Galveston FeatherFest, and other groups and festivals.  Glenn has led trips to such exotic locales as Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Amazon Rainforest, Costa Rica and the hottest birding locations in the U.S. Contact Glenn at or 832-517-2478.


Introduction to Birding Class:
The class and field trip conducted by Glenn Olsen was outstanding.  The program exceeded my expectations.  Mr. Olsen is a master.  He was able to patiently cater to a novice like myself and to those in the group with more birding knowledge and experience.  He showered us with his knowledge and love of birding and nature.  I learned so much.  It was my good fortune.  Thank you and the society for your association with Mr. Olsen.
-- Carol Devine

Waterfowl Class:
I want to take a second to say how much I enjoyed Glenn Olsen’s - Waterfowl course last week. While the weather was less than ideal, the birds and beauty that I was introduced to far surpassed any inconvenient weather issues. Being a backpacker, runner, bicyclist, photographer, and general outdoor-ist, I was amazed to find out that I have missed so much in viewing birds in their natural habitat. I had looked at birds, but not really ‘seen’ the birds. Glenn’s course opened my eyes to a world I had been looking past. I highly recommend any of Glenn's courses. I was at first a little intimidated by my lack of bird knowledge, not just compared to Glenn Olsen’s (which was to be expected) but to the group in general. Glenn and the group of experienced birders, which was probably 75% of the group, made me feel right at home and were helpful and encouraging to this total novice. I walked away feeling that Birders are Good People and this will not be my last Audubon event.
-- Tim Brooking

Spiffy Sparrows Class:
I wanted to let Houston Audubon know what a wonderful experience Glenn Olsen's class and field trip were this last week. Glenn is a tremendous, patient teacher, and so very passionate about birding. Thanks to Houston Audubon and Glenn for a great learning opportunity!
-- Sherri Taxman


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