Birder's Certificate Program
Prepare to take your birding to a higher level with Mass Audubon's Birder's Certificate Program (BCP)!
This 12-month series is equivalent to an undergraduate-level ornithology course. The structure combines monthly online lectures, extensive field time, and the opportunity for self-directed study.
Offered annually since 2004, BCP is a key component in Mass Audubon's ongoing efforts to provide the finest educational programs to the birding community.
The program covers a wide range of subject matter, including avian systematics, biology, field identification, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation.
Modules combine online presentations, small group field experiences, and independent study; student comprehension will be evaluated through homework assignments.
Systematics & Nomenclature
Evolution & Speciation
Anatomy & Physiology
Feathers & Flight
Students who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate of achievement and a BCP binocular harness.
The BCP is conducted as an online/in-person hybrid course. The 2021-2022 program will run from August 29, 2021–June 12, 2022.
Please note that all dates are subject to change.
Lectures take place one Saturday a month from 9:00 am–1:00 pm. Mass Audubon uses the Microsoft Teams virtual meeting platform for all online presentations. Instructions for connecting to online sessions will be provided to all participants.
|September 11, 2021||Systematics & Nomenclature|
|September 25, 2021||Evolution & Speciation|
|October 23, 2021||Field Identification|
|November 20, 2021||Anatomy & Physiology|
|December 18, 2021||Bird Conservation|
|January 15, 2022||Feeding Ecology|
|February 19, 2022||Feathers & Flight|
|March 19, 2022||Migration|
|April 9, 2022||Avian Vocalization|
|May 21, 2022||Breeding Behavior|
|June 11, 2022||Field Ornithology|
Each online presentation will be supplemented by an in-person field trip in Essex County on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am–12:00 pm. Field trips are three to four hours in length and will follow the most current public health authority guidelines on social distancing and other safety measures.
- August 29, 2021
- September 26, 2021
- October 24, 2021
- November 21, 2021
- December 19, 2021
- January 16, 2022
- February 20, 2022
- March 20, 2022
- April 10, 2022
- May 22, 2022
- June 12, 2022
- Develop the ornithological knowledge base of birders
- Demonstrate ways birders can contribute to the scientific study of birds
- Encourage closer collaboration between birders and professional ornithologists
- Develop a cadre of skilled program and trip leaders
- Provide professional development opportunities for Mass Audubon staff
- Contribute to the conservation of birds and to the protection of the nature of Massachusetts
To register for the Birder's Certificate Program, please contact Melissa Vokey by email or by calling 978-462-9998.
Class size is limited to 18 participants.
If you decide to drop the course, we will issue a refund, prorated by your participation in modules, and subject to a $100 administrative fee.
- By Phone: 978-462-9998
- By Email: Send us an email
- By Mail: Birder's Certificate Program, c/o Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950