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A photo of a male, painted bunting bird

Birding and Wildlife Photography

Time limit: 90 days

$75 Enroll

Full course description

Course Description:

Birding and Wildlife Photography is a self-paced, online course that has been designed for beginning to intermediate birders and wildlife photographers. Birds have, through the centuries, been an integral part of the human experience. They awe us with their beauty, their feats of endurance, strength, and memory. They serve as critical pollinators and consume immense quantities of certain insect pests. They also serve as important sentinels of the health of our ecosystems that are critical to the survival of the human species. Every year millions of bird watchers use binoculars and spotting scopes to study birds more closely, and rightly so. In this course, you will be provided with information, tools, and resources to help you enjoy birding and wildlife photography. Fields trips to various locations within one hour of the Clemson area will be included to allow participants to practice class content with support from the instructors.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the necessary and proper tools needed to watch and identify birds
  2. Describe basic bird identification techniques to see and identify birds in the field
  3. Recognize the threats that birds face to a variety of factors
  4. Describe a variety of photography techniques used for wildlife photography
  5. Identify citizen science efforts for bird conservation
  6. Participate in bird watching field trips to identify birds in the field 

Course Topics:

  • Birding Basics
  • Attracting Birds to Your Yard
  • Introduction to Bird Identification 
  • Raptor Identification
  • Fast-Moving Smaller Birds
  • Water Bird Identification
  • Introduction to Photography - The Exposure Triangle 
  • Introduction to Photography - Cameras, Camera Modes, and Exposure Metering
  • Introduction to Photography - Modern Tools to Aid Birdwatching, Bird Photography, and Bird Conservation


Participants are encouraged to complete and engage with all learning activities including watching instructional videos, viewing additional resources, and completing module level knowledge checks. 

Technical Requirements:

To Participate fully in this course, you will need:

  • An active email address for the individual participating in the course.
  • A desktop computer or laptop (recommended): Canvas is available on mobile devices, but some content may appear differently
  • Access to a high-speed internet connection.
  • A web browser compatible with Canvas: Chrome and Firefox are recommended.
  • Headphones or speakers (closed captioning also available)
  • Computer skills including Internet browsing, using email, typing, downloading files, and basic troubleshooting.

Need Help?

  • If you need help accessing or registering for a course, please contact Clemson Online at
  • Our support email is monitored Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:30. If you contact us in the evening or on the weekend, we will help you during the next business day.
  • Please do not contact CCIT regarding CPE courses. Please reach out to Clemson Online so that we can assist you.