Black-Bellied Whistling Duck
Citizen Science

North-Central Texas Master Birder Program

Developing leaders in birding for our region.
Photo: Kyle Fritz, Audubon Photography Awards 2012
Citizen Science

North-Central Texas Master Birder Program

Developing leaders in birding for our region.

Overview of NCTMB Program

The North-central Texas Master Birder Program is an intermediate, 9-month Course in field ornithology. It is designed to provide participants with bird identification skills and general knowledge of birds, their life histories, ecology, conservation, and habitat requirements in Texas. It is also an “education for service” initiative. Participants will receive advance training in field ornithology in exchange for volunteer services to the North-central Texas community.

The NCTMB Program provides extensive training on ornithological topics using a combination of classroom discussion and field trips. Topics covered include:

  1. Bird Identification by Sight
  2. Bird Identification by Sound
  3. Ecological Zones of Texas and the Associated Avifauna
  4. Birding Equipment Including Optics, Field Guides, Written Forms, and Checklists
  5. Birding Etiquette in the Field
  6. Avian Biology
  7. Migration
  8. Texas Specialty Birds

How the NCTMB Program Works

Applicants will complete a written application (downloadable on this site) prior to acceptance into the program.  Successful applicants will be birders who have demonstrated enthusiasm for the hobby and who are capable of fulfilling the physical demands of attendance and participation during the calendar year. This includes all scheduled class times and field trips.

Applications are due 60 days prior to the first scheduled class. Written notification of acceptance will be e-mailed to applicants 14 days prior to the first scheduled class. Application should be emailed to

Full payment of the class fee of $150.00 will be due and payable at the first scheduled class. Payment arrangements are available. However, these arrangements must be made in advance of the first scheduled class. No payment arrangements will be made after the first scheduled class.

At the end of the course, NCTMB participants will have completed their certification. If circumstances make it impossible to complete the course in one year, a paid participant may continue the course during a second year. If the participant has not successfully completed the course at the end of two years, board members will make a recommendation for the person to continue as an apprentice to the program (working towards completion in future years) or dropping out of the program.

If a participant must drop out of the program for any reason before the fifth month of the program, ½ of the cost of the course will be refunded. If a participant must drop out after the fifth month, no money will refunded, but, with the board’s approval, that participant may be allowed to return the following year for completion of the course.

The class size will be limited to 12 participants to ensure a quality experience for all.

North Central Texas Master Birder 2018-19

Calendar of Classes and Field Trips

All classes will be head at Trinity River Audubon Center (TRAC) on Saturday mornings

Classes will be 8 – 10 am unless otherwise noted

TRAC is open on Saturday for early morning birding at 7 am before class;

September 22              Orientation and first class

October 6                    second class

October 27                  Field Trip        Trinity Bird Count Area 7 Joppa Preserve  (Janie Henderson, Ben Sandifer and Carrie Robinson)

November 10              third class

November 17               Field Trip        Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge  (Carrie Steingruber and Chuck Carlson)

December 1                 fourth class    

Field Trip – one morning during week of December 1st at White Rock Spillway; study of gulls (Chris Runk)

January 19                   fifth class

February 2                  Field Trip        Trinity Bird Count Area 5 Chain of Wetlands (Jane Ramberg)

February 16                 sixth class

February 16                Field Trip        7-8 am TRAC

March 2                       seventh class

March 23                    Mineola Nature Preserve (Leader to be announced)

April 6                         eighth class

April 25 and 26; depart 4/27 about noon       High Island    

May 4                          ninth class

May 25                        graduation

Questions?  Contact Jim Peterson at

Downloadable Resources

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