“Heck yeah” I exclaimed right after being offered to take a Beginners Basics Bird Biology Course. Sure I can name a few birds and know a few terms, but it’s not quite the same as having a more in-depth knowledge about birds. Besides, I no longer had to feel out of place for never having taken an ornithology class.
Having learned birding basics from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I felt like I had a leg-up on my first day. It was raining and therefore we did not have a lot of times on the trail, but I was familiar with what I saw. Yet as the week went on, I began to learn a lot more little things that I had not learned about before, such as wing shapes, feather types and colors, and reproductive strategies. Of course, the highlight of any bird course is the field time; I went to new places, and even saw birds I had never seen before!
I also appreciated the time I had to bond with other people outside of the work environment. I feel as if the classroom-like setting put people at ease and allowed them to be more outgoing. I heard so many stories, of travels to different states and countries, and of especially of people and their careers. It opened my eyes to all the different career options and paths that are available in the service.
Although I feel like I’m supposed to be in a part of my life when I should have everything figured out, talking with everyone has reassured me that plans can always change, so to work hard and aim for the best! I might have come in to the class knowing more than some and less than others, but in the end what matters most is what I make of the experience for myself.