Origins

For 28 years Cameron Cox, the owner and instructor for Avocet Birding Courses, has been passionate about learning about birds and bird identification. Throughout his twenties he traversed the United States doing bird research fieldwork that allowed him to immerse himself in the study of the birds of North America. It was during this period that he began to question the standard narrative around bird identification
that centers on the “Field Mark” as the be-all-end-all of bird identification. Years of searching for answers of how birders identify birds rapidly and accurately eventually led to a new approach in birding, borrowed from seemingly unrelated disciplines, which uses using the techniques that top performers like professional athletes and world-class chefs use to excel. Even more answers were found in the research of scientists studying the human mind, particularly in the fields of cognitive psychology and decision-making. Out of this study, Cameron has sculpted a different way of approaching and teaching bird identification that forms the underpinning of all the Avocet Birding Courses workshops and tours.

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Methods and Workshops

If you feel your quest for learning about bird identification has reached a standstill or has become frustrating, ABC’s workshops are for you. We explore beyond just the basic building blocks of identification and rehashing standard field marks, and instead teach concepts that you can apply to all your birding going forward. Understanding how our brains process information is key to being able to train your brain to prioritize the information you want it to prioritize. In addition, the workshops teach additional methods that experienced birders use to simplify bird identification and accelerate learning. Start with Bird Better, a three-day workshop that will fully immerse you in the ABC method and discover that there is so much more to learn in birding, and equally importantly, that the experience is as fun as it is rewarding. 

Take a Trip!

ABC’s small group Birding Vacations focus more on enjoying birds and learning more about them than on rushing around to accumulate the largest list possible. If you came back from your latest tour, and while you had a great time, cannot immediately bring to mind distinct memories that move you, try a trip with us to see if a Birding Vacation suits your style more than the chaotic whirlwind of a traditional birding tour.
We take time at the spots we visit and let the locations soak into our hearts and minds. Our Birding Vacations are in a rush to enjoy the moment and the opportunities in front of us instead of the typical rush for whatever is next, failing to revel in the now. The pace and structure of the Birding Vacation makes it an ideal trip for partners where one person is an avid birder while the other is a nonbirder or more casual birder. We don’t run many Birding Vacations, but each one we do will be special. Do you prefer the private approach to travel? Contact us, we do custom birding and photography trips as well.

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