Blue Jay: Kevin J. McGowan

Welcome to Be a Better Birder 2: Color and Pattern. This self-paced course draws directly on the knowledge and expertise of scientists and educators at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, to help you learn bird identification through expert tips and interactive quizzes. Throughout you’ll be practicing the key skills of using color and pattern to take your birding skills to the next level.

What’s inside


Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Kevin J. McGowan

In this tutorial you’ll learn how locating key bits of color on a bird speeds identification. Instead of trying to memorize every color and pattern on a bird, you’ll learn to do more with less information, focusing on specific body parts that will lead to the right ID. You’ll experience the challenges posed by juvenile birds and molting birds, and how you can even be fooled by the lighting.

This tutorial features 6 lessons containing 5 narrated slide shows, 5 interactive diagrams, and 7 quizzes. You’ll earn digital badges by making progress in this course and can choose to earn a printable certificate by passing the final exam.

This self-paced course is designed to work on all of the major modern web browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox). iPhones and iPads will not show the Flash-based interactive elements.

The six lessons in this course feature:

  • Expert birding tips

  • Engaging media

  • Interactive quizzes

The course contains a series of interactive quizzes so you gain valuable practice in bird ID along the way.

Try a free sample activity


Sign up for Be a Better Birder 2: Color and Pattern today!

Only $29.99
Buy Now

If you already have an enrollment code enter it here

Satisfaction Guarantee

Our educators and birding experts take pride in the courses they create. If you're not satisfied with the material for ANY reason, contact us within 30 days of the start of the course or purchase for a full refund.
Kevin McGowan_19Apr09_jwm2406ac_r

Kevin McGowan, Extension Support Specialist, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Meet the Course Author

Kevin McGowan combines deep knowledge about birds with passion for helping others to learn. He is the instructor and coordinator for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Home Study Course in Bird Biology, and the instructor and co-author of the online course Courtship and Rivalry in Birds. He has worked at Cornell University since 1988 and is one of the world’s foremost experts on the behavior of crows. He helped create the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds web site and wrote the original bird guide section.