Education and Outreach

Inspired by Birds!

The Education Team’s goals are “Preserve, Protect, Promote.” Almost everybody loves birds, but most are unaware that birds do amazing things! Flying for instance, made possible with adaptations like hollow bones, massive chest muscles to power the wings, and feathers for balance and steering. They also need big brains to support keen eyesight and rapid reflexes. The ASC Education and Outreach Team is always thrilled to introduce a new audience to the wonders of birds. The Team reached approximately 4,000 community members during the 2018 -19 school year, with events such as Winter Wildlife Field Day, Schools and Group presentations, special events held at Hesthavn Nature Center, and partner programs.

Winter Wildlife Field Day

dissecting owl pellets
Young birders-to-be find out what barn owls eat!

The Fifth Annual Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in March 2019 was a huge success with over 700 participants and 137 volunteers! The theme was local predators, which was echoed in all 12 stations, including identifying water and soil critters, acting like a bobcat, enjoying live birds of prey, learning about camouflage, taking guided trail walks, and more. Education Team members have played critical roles in developing and operating this popular event. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, the 2020 WWFD has been postponed to a later date (TBA). Contact Sam Bartling at Finley National Wildlife Refuge ( (541) 757-7236) to volunteer or get more information.

WinterWildlife Field Day

School and Groups

Girl Scout camp
The ASC Education Team describes how birds have adapted to water to Girl Scout campers in 2018.

For more than 30 years, Education Team volunteers have provided interpretive programs for schoolchildren. We have developed traveling programs and exhibits that are fun, interactive, and educational, such as Measure Your Wingspan and Compare It to Local Birds. Other programs include How Birds Fly, What Can I Eat with This Beak?, How Do Bats and Birds Differ, Birds as Pollinators, games like Predator vs. Prey Tag and Migration Madness, and more! ASC volunteers bring exhibits and activities to schools or other places on request, Groups such as Girl and Boy Scouts, nature clubs, and home schools may also request an activity. We love to share at Science Nights at local schools! Contact Teri Engbring (enbring(at) at least one month in advance to schedule a visit!

Special Nature Events

get outdoors day
ASC volunteer Karl Hartzell asks which birds the visitors see in their backyard.

Education Team members also provide fun and interesting activities to environmental groups and the general public. From September 2018 to September 2019, ASC has staffed outreach activities including Hesthavn family programs, Girl Scout camps, Corvallis Sustainability Fair, Oregon State University Earth Day, Get Outdoors Day at Peavy Arboretum, Chintimini Open House, and more.


Beginning Birding Workshop!

beginning birding class
After learning the ins and outs of binoculars, participants in the Beginning Birding class at Hesthavn get close-up views of several bird species at the Nature Center.

Two 4-hour classes were held in February 2020 at Hesthavn Nature Center. The classes were taught by highly regarded local expert Don Boucher who has 18 years of experience instructing birding classes and leading field trips. Other Audubon volunteer instructors were on hand for assistance with binoculars. The goal was to provide a fun introduction to bird identification, field guides, binocular use, bird-watching culture, backyard birding, and more.

Other classes may be held in the future that could cover natural history, birding by ear, conservation for birds and other animals, or other topics. Keep an eye on this space for further information.

Hesthavn Nature Center

nature center open house flyer
Invitation to the 2018 Hesthavn Nature Center

The Nature Center started life as a barn, and now it offers a museum with taxidermied birds, library, exhibits, and a classroom. Oak Creek flows through the property near the Center, and there are short trails, and a native plant garden. The Nature Center is staffed for special events, so check the website and watch for event flyers. The trails and garden are open from dawn to dusk everyday. Admission is free!


Anna's hummoingbird
This Anna’s Hummingbird comments on the Beginning Birding class as they scan for local birds. Male Annaa have a “buzzy” song,”chippy” call, and a loud squeak during courtship that is made by their outer tail feathers!