How to Know the Birds | The Whys & Wherefores of Colorado's Birdlife

Join Editor of Birding magazine, author, and birder Ted Floyd on a multi-day exploration of birding field craft, and spend some serious quality time with the diverse and fascinating breeding bird community in and around Aspen. Field trips to different birding hotspots will give us direct experience with around 100 species of mainly mountain birds: everything from ridiculously colorful neotropical migrants to behaviorally complex waterfowl to striking raptors to hardy permanent residents of the boreal forest. In the classroom, we will cover the basics of bird identification—with an emphasis on the “whole bird” approach that encourages us to watch birds in a broad ecological context. A major theme will be bird study in the digital age; to that end, we will learn how to contribute our bird sightings to eBird and other citizen-science databases. Expect both classroom and field time to be interactive, dynamic, and fun!

This class requires advance registration to ensure appropriate planning for the field experience. We STRONGLY encourage workshop participants to attend Wednesday evening’s Lecture.

About the Instructor:

Ted Floyd is the Editor of Birding magazine, the award-winning flagship publication of the American Birding Association. He has written five bird books, including the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America (HarperCollins, 2008) and How to Know the Birds (National Geographic, 2019). Ted is also the author of more than 200 popular articles, technical papers, and book chapters on birds and nature. A graduate of Princeton University (A.B., 1990) and Penn State University (Ph.D., 1995), Ted has taught biology, math, and statistics to everyone from second graders to advanced graduate students.

Educators, when registering online for this class, please click on scholarship button and write EDUCATOR in the comments field so we can apply additional discount for you. The educators' discount is for teachers who take ACES classes for their professional development. Educator class cost is $95 or $50 for ACES members. This class is offered for 1 graduate college credit through Adams State University for additional cost that goes directly to ASU. In addition to registring through ACES, register here for graduate credit.

What To Bring:

Come prepared for a full day in the field, including non-strenuous hiking on and off trails. Please wear layered clothing for both the chilly morning and warmer daytime temperatures. Wear sturdy footwear and bring rain gear, sun hat, sunglasses, sunblock, a hearty sack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. Bring your binoculars (or borrow ours) and your field guide (optional). We will provide binoculars, a scope, reference books, and handouts. 

How To Get There:

Please bike or walk to ACES  whenever possible! We understand that you'll need to drive to ACES for certain classes - 6am birding classes, photo field trips, etc. However, when you can, make it a personal challenge and see if you can drive fewer times than last year! Parking at ACES is limited.





Non-member price:
Member price:


  • Adults
  • Spots Available:

    • Class maximum: 12
    • Spots available: 0. There are currently no spots available, please add the class to your cart to join the waitlist.
    Registration closed on 07/26/2019