Birder's Certificate Program
Full for 2020-2021
All available spots for the 2020-2021 program have been filled, and we are no longer accepting registrations. Information about next year's BCP cohort will be posted here in late August 2021.
Take your birding to a higher level with our Birder's Certificate Program (BCP)! This 12-month program is equivalent to an undergraduate-level ornithology course, with monthly online lecture-presentations, extensive field time, and the opportunity for self-directed study.
Offered annually by Mass Audubon since 2004 and equivalent to an undergraduate-level ornithology course, BCP is a key component in our 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.
Due to COVID-19, the BCP will be conducted as an online/in-person hybrid course. Lectures will be held online using Microsoft Teams, supplemented by in-person field trips in Eastern Massachusetts facilitated in small groups. Participants will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
The 2020-2021 program will run from September 26, 2020–July 17, 2021. Classes take place one Saturday a month, usually from 9:00 am–1:00 pm (though two classes run from 1:00 pm–5:00 pm).
|September 26, 2020||Systematics|
|October 24, 2020||Evolution & Speciation|
|November 21, 2020||Field Identification|
|December 19, 2020||Anatomy & Physiology|
|January 16, 2021||Bird Conservation|
|February 20, 2021||Feathers & Flight|
|March 20, 2021||Feeding Ecology|
|April 17, 2021||Migration|
|May 22, 2021||Avian Vocalization|
|June 19, 2021||Breeding Behavior|
|July 17, 2021||Field Ornithology|
- 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.
- 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