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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. 

Upcoming Classes

Habitat Gardening and Landscaping to Benefit Birds : August 17-19, 2017

An introduction to using plants in our landscape that benefit birds, butterflies and pollinators. We will also consider suitable design and maintenance to comply with homeowner associations rules. Planting beneficial plants is helpful but more important is the concept of creating habitat structure with these plants that is the foundation for birds to have a place to live. Through this class you will learn about the Bird Friendly Communities program and how to qualify your yard as suitable bird friendly habitat..

Evening Class: Thursday, August 17, 2017, 7-8:45pm at Edith Moore library
Short Field Trip: Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hawk Migration: September 26-30, 2017

In this class we will learn to identify hawks, from the small American Kestrel to the majestic Bald Eagle, and we will learn how and why hawks migrate. Houston is located along a major flyway: we will take advantage of this by spending time in the field practicing identifying hawks in flight as they pass through on their way from their breeding grounds in Northern Canada and Alaska to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.

Class: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, September 30, 2017 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

Birding 101 (Beginning Birding): October 3-7, 2017

In this class, we'll learn the basics of birdwatching, or birding, which will include learning about the habitat, migration, and behavior of birds, as well as how to identify them by family and species. Get ready to be fascinated by birds! In this class you will not only enrich your enjoyment of the birds in your own backyard, but you will attain a set of skills that will allow you to explore and expand your enjoyment of birds near and far.

Class: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, October 7, 2017 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

Wintering Birds: November 14-18, 2017

In this class we'll focus on the many species who winter in our region, including raptors, waterbirds, sparrows, and other landbirds.

Class: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, November 18, 2017 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

Sparrows: December 12-16, 2017

Secretive and challenging to identify are what make this group of birds Fun. The Upper Texas Coast is a great place to see wintering sparrows. Learn the key principles of identification that will enable you to separate the 17 different species that are possible. After this class you will no longer call sparrows little brown birds, you will recognize them as sparrows.

Class: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (7:00-8:45 PM)
Field Trip: Saturday, December 16, 2017 (7:30 AM - 3:30 PM)

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. He is currently Region 8 Director for the Texas Ornithological Society. 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.