Halifax River Audubon
Halifax River Audubon A Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society
Serving The Greater Daytona Beach Area

Birding 101


Welcome to Halifax River Audubon and our Fall bird watching class. Thanks for signing up. This web page will be your go to site for information about the class, including field trips. After each class session, presentations and class materials will be available here for review. Reference materials will be posted here and links to useful bird information on the web. 

Here is the link for the next (Wednesday, December 9, 2020) class session on Zoom. Class will officially begin at 6:30PM. I will open the session at 6:00PM for anyone who may have questions, concerns, unidentified birds they want to talk about or more. At this point the class size is small, so I am looking forward to discovering what you want to learn in the class.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 945 4375 8482
Passcode: 161702

If you have any questions outside of our face-to-face sessions, please contact me at members@halifaxriveras.org

In our next class we will look a little deeper at several Bird Orders, with an emphasis on Charadriiformes - Gulls, Terns, Stilts, Avocets, Oystercatchers, Plovers, Sandpipers, Jaegers, Skimmers. It is a big group of birds with many representatives in Florida. 

Here are some of my favorite "Cheat Sheets" that you can scan, download or use during class. Don't be intimidated! Lots of birders - me included - can struggle identifying these guys. 

Hey, if we didn't have challenges, it would get quite boring.....

Shorebird Sizes

Shorebird Silhouettes


Shorebird Descriptive Chart

And just for fun - the most outrageous aid I have ever seen for Gull Id - yet I think it works. I don't expect you to understand any of it - it took me awhile.

Gull Flow Chart

I have these links and more in the reference section - hit the link at the end of this page.


Check here for links to Class Slides and the list of birds seen on our field trips throughout the class. This information will be posted after the class for the slides and after our outings for the bird lists. I will also include other information on topics that come up in class and may require some research.

October 14 Birding Topics

October 14 Bird Gallery

More Reference Materials...

Click here for additional help guides and more. I will be reviewing some of this material during class.

Handouts Week One

Bird Orders of North America PDF

Passerine Families in Florida PDF

Central Florida Bird Checklist -  This checklist fits on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, two-sided. PDF

HRA Birds of Central Florida -  This checklist fits on 8 1/2 x 14 paper, two-sided. PDF

Free E-book: Let’s Go Birding! From The American Birding Association

Bird Watching Basics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Florida's Checklist of Birds from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Florida Ornithological Society - lots of good information - official state checklist of all species seen and confirmed in Florida 

Audubon On-Line Bird Guide - Load a species or family of birds to get all kinds of information

All About Birds - similar to above from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

eBird - Online Citizen Scientist Database of bird sightings. Good source of current bird distribution information



Binocular Information

Choosing binoculars can be a daunting process for beginning birders and veterans alike. Past classes have had many questions about this very import tool.  Here are some links that provide information about binoculars and explain what the specifications mean to performance. We are providing these links for your information and do not endorse one brand over the other. During the field trips we will have several guides on hand that can share their experiences in finding the right binoculars.

These links are small articles about binoculars...

From Time & Optics 

Binocular Buying Guide

This link is an excellent video from Adventure Education. It's casually produced, but it covers all of the basics.

For many years a company called Eagle Optics provided a point of sale at bird festivals all across the United States. They have since closed up shop, but their excellent videos live on in YouTube. It's like a small course on Optics, with each video focusing on one aspect of binocular design.

Magnification - What do the numbers mean?


Exit Pupil

Fit & Focus

Eye Relief

Optical Quality

Binocular Care