Field School: Introduction to Shorebirds


3 classes (show schedule)
Fri, Sep 09, 2022
3:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Sat, Sep 10, 2022
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun, Sep 11, 2022
7:00 am - 4:00 pm


Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, South Wellfleet


Mark Faherty - Mass Audubon Scientist






Nonmembers can join today during checkout and take immediate advantage of member prices.

There is no better place to explore and study the topic of shorebird ecology than the beautiful coastal communities of Cape Cod at the height of shorebird migration. This course is designed to give the novice birder, or those inexperienced with coastal birds, the skills to identify the 'peeps,' plovers, and other shorebird species.

During the course, we will touch upon topics such as identification, biology, behavior, and migration. Our discussions will also cover the issues and threats these birds face in coastal environments. Field excursions to barrier beaches, salt marshes, tidal rivers, and other unique ecosystems of the Outer Cape will provide opportunities to become acquainted with the diverse array of shorebirds for which the region is famous. Gulls, terns and herons will also be conspicuous inhabitants of these areas and will not be ignored!

Field walks may average 4-5 miles in length and on varied terrain-from established trails to beach sand and up-and-down a few hills and dunes. While there is considerable walking, most is done at a leisurely pace as we look for birds. Please pack a brown bag lunch, snacks, and plenty of drinking water. Sunscreen is also a good idea! Please dress in layers and dress for the weather (we will walk in all weather conditions). Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking. Binoculars are highly recommended - you may consider bringing a spotting scope as well.

*Please note: the hours listed on the schedule may vary from the sample schedule in the field school brochure and are subject to change based on tides, staff, optimal wildlife sightings, and other variables. A detailed schedule will be prepared and sent to registrants at approximately 3-4 weeks in advance.

This course is one of several Cape Cod Field Schools offered. Visit to download a brochure.


Mark Faherty, Science Coordinator has been the at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since 2007. He has studied primarily bird ecology for the last 20 years, working on research projects in Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. He also conducted a three-year study of the landbirds of the Cape Cod National Seashore. At the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Mark oversees a number of projects including coastal waterbird monitoring, oyster reef restoration, and horseshoe crab population studies.

Instructions and Directions:

Advance registration is required and is accepted on-line, over the phone, or through the mail. Payment in full is due upon registration. Upon registration you will receive a confirmation letter, then 2-3 weeks in advance of your course you will receive an email with detailed information related to the class.

Due to COVID protocols, participants will need to provide their own transportation to field trip locations around the Cape.

Cancellations must be received in writing (via email or regular mail) 30 days before starting date to receive a full refund (less a $50 nonrefundable administration fee per registrant).

Cancellation received less than 30 days before starting date may result in forfeit of entire course fee. If we can fill your spot with another registration then your balance is returned, less the $50 nonrefundable administration fee. The sanctuary reserves the right to cancel any course with a full refund to registrants.

For a complete listing of Field School courses visit

Registration is required.

Meeting Place:

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
291 US-6
South Wellfleet, MA 02663
Email [email protected] for more information.