Citizen Science

North-Central Texas Master Birder Program

Developing leaders in birding for our region.
American Goldfinch and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Photo: Will Stuart.
American Goldfinch and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Photo: Will Stuart.
Citizen Science

North-Central Texas Master Birder Program

Developing leaders in birding for our region.

Overview of NCTMB Program

Audubon Dallas is the proud sponsor of The North-Central Texas Master Birder (NCTMB) Program. NCTMB is a course in field ornithology for intermediate-level birders. It is designed to provide participants with techniques to enhance applicants’ existing bird identification skills and general knowledge of birds, ecology, conservation, and habitat requirements in Texas. It is also an “education for service” initiative. Participants will receive advanced training in field ornithology in exchange for volunteer services to the North-Central Texas community.

The NCTMB provides training on ornithological topics using a combination of nine classroom sessions and seven instructor-led field trips. Besides general bird identification challenges, topics will include:

  1. Ecological Zones of Texas and the Associated Avifauna
  2. Birding Equipment Including Optics, Field Guides, Written Forms, and Checklists
  3. Birding Etiquette in the Field
  4. Bird Structure
  5. Bird Migration
  6. Texas Specialty Birds
  7. Birding Ethics
  8. Record Keeping and Reporting, including use of eBird

How the NCTMB Program Works

Applicants will complete a written application 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.

Field Trip costs including gas, park entrance fees, and accommodations when applicable are not included the program cost. These costs are incurred by each participant separately. Accommodations will only be required during the one optional Texas coast field trip (January) and the one required Texas coast field trip (April).

Applications are due June 1, 2020. Written notification of acceptance will be e-mailed to applicants on or about July 15, 2020

Full payment of the class fee of $175.00 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.

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

North Central Texas Master Birder

Calendar of Classes and Field Trips - Please note that due to covid-19, the September 2020 program start has been delayed until September 2021.

All classes will be head at Trinity River Audubon Center (TRAC) on Saturday mornings. Classes will be 8 – 10 am unless otherwise noted. Field trip meeting times and locations will be announced at the preceding class.

TRAC is open on Saturday for Early Morning Birding at 7:30am before class.

September 12 Orientation and first class, 8:30 am – 12 noon

September 26 Hawk Watch, Tyler SP

October 10 Second class - Hawks, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC

November 14 Third class - Waterfowl, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC

November 21 Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, with Master Birders Carrie Steingruber and Chuck Carlson

December 5 Fourth class - Gulls, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC. There will be a very short follow-up study of gulls one morning during week at White Rock Spillway; (specific dates TBA) with Master Birder Instructor, Chris Runk

Participation in one (or more) Christmas Bird Counts of your choice

January 23 Fifth class – Gulls; Shorebirds, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC

January 29-31 Bolivar Flats, Anahuac (optional field trip, 2 days, 2 nights)

February 20 Sixth class – Sparrows, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC

March 13 Seventh class – Song birds; migration

March 20 Village Creek Drying Beds

April 10 Eighth class – Migration; warblers

April 16-18 High Island, TX, including Sabine Woods (2 days, 2 nights)

May 1 Ninth class – song birds; shorebirds, 8:00 am - 10:00 am at TRAC. Follow-up field trip after class to Joppa Preserve from 10:00 am - noon. This field trip is a very short drive from TRAC.

May 22 Graduation

Complete the online application:

Questions?  Contact Janie Henderson at

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