We are jump-starting Birdathon 2024 with an array of exciting speakers from April 22-25. Those who fundraise or donate at least $45 by April 20 will be able to join us for these fun, birdy classes that will get you excited to get out and go birding.

Ask A Birder: Birdathon Edition
Monday, April 22
Watch the Recording

Join Bird Alliance of Oregon’s Brodie Cass Talbott and Sarah Swanson for this interactive Zoom experience. Catch up on what’s happening in migration this week, get the low-down on recent rare bird sightings, and learn along as our master birders break down your trickiest bird IDs!

Have a question for our birding experts? Send in your own bird photos, audio clips, or questions to by April 20 to hear them answered on the show, or comment during the live Zoom.


Enhancing your Birdathon with eBird
Tuesday, April 23
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Virtual event, no registration necessary

Want to know which birds to expect on your Birdathon and get some practice identifying them by sight and sound? Bird Alliance of Oregon’s Events Manager, Sarah Swanson will introduce you to the powerful information-gathering capabilities of eBird, and show you how to do your own Birdathon preparations, no matter the destination. We’ll cover topics including, bar charts, rarity alerts, species maps, quizzes, and trip reports.

Sarah Swanson, Events Manager for Bird Alliance of Oregon, is the author of several books about Pacific Northwest birds, including Best Little Book of Birds: the Oregon Coast. She is in her 18th year of Birdathon participation and still gets excited about it every spring.


Bird Watercolor Painting with Ronna Fujisawa: Lewis’s Woodpecker
Wednesday, April 24
Recording Unavailable

For this year’s Birdathon, we will be offering an online bird watercolor class painting the brilliant pink and green feathers of the Lewis’s Woodpecker, our 2024 logo bird. The Lewis’s Woodpecker was named for Meriweather Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the early 1800’s. He recorded his discoveries and observations of many birds, including the “Black Woodpecker” which was later named the Lewis’s Woodpecker.

Ronna Fujisawa, of, is an experienced watercolor artist, teacher, and naturalist. She will share her techniques on how to paint this extraordinary woodpecker in watercolor. If you are interested in learning how to paint birds, this will be a fun workshop where participants will follow along with a step-by-step demonstration.

A photo of the bird will be emailed to you and will be a reference for this class. Students are recommended to draw or trace the image before the class begins. Have your watercolor paints ready before class time so you can paint along with Ronna.
If you have any questions about materials or preparation for the class, please email

Ronna Fujisawa, MFA Oregon College of Art and Craft, is an artist, art educator, and outdoor enthusiast. She regularly teaches watercolor classes for Portland Audubon. Her work can be found at and in the Nature Store.

Lewis's Woodpecker painting by Ronna Fujisawa


The Natural History of the Lewis’s Woodpecker
Thursday, April 25
Watch the Recording

Lewis’s “Black Woodpecker” It flies like an acrobat and glows rosy pink and iridescent green in the western sun. Unlike most of its carpenter cousins, this woodpecker migrates—not too far, but away from frigid winters. It dominates starlings and loves burned forests. What a joy the Lewis’s Woodpecker brings to birding. Crisscrossing above the canopy, it flies more like a Corvid than a woodpecker, gobbling up aerial insects and delighting birders. Get a scope on this bird in just the right light, and you see a stunning ornament perched proudly atop a tall cottonwood. Many of its behaviors—in addition to its airborne prowess—make it one of the least woodpecker-like among our continent’s woodpeckers.

Join North American woodpecker specialist Steve Shunk for an entertaining exploration into the life of the Lewis’s Woodpecker. Steve will cover the natural history, ecology, and conservation of this charismatic species as he shares its fascinating behaviors and special adaptations for a truly unique lifestyle in the Wild West.

Steve Shunk Bio
Stephen Shunk—author, public speaker, field biologist, and birding guide—started birding in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, and by 1997 he had founded his own tour company, Paradise Birding. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, including his co-founding of the East Cascades Bird Conservancy in 1999 and serving as its first president. Steve was also co-founder of the Oregon Birding Trails program, and he coordinated its flagship project, the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail. Steve’s field biology has taken him from Oregon’s coast range to the Sierra Nevada, most recently studying cavity nesters on the eastern slope of the Oregon Cascades. His 25-year fascination with woodpeckers culminated in the publication of his Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America. Today, Steve lives with Happy Wrens and Squirrel Cuckoos while he continues to lead domestic and international nature tours through Arizona-based Naturalist Journeys.