Salem Audubon Society offers wildlife education programs for children as well as bird identification and habitat enhancement programs for all ages. This past year we delivered 60+ programs in local schools.  Our Traveling Education Programs are available to schools, public libraries, civic groups and service organizations. These hands-on, one hour discovery programs can be tailored to fit any age group.


Birds in Hand

Just how do birds differ from us? Students answer this question by examining bird specimens, feathers, wings and nests.  Discussion focuses on the mechanics of flight, bird anatomy and basic bird identification.  Programs can be adjusted to all grade levels, and students will learn to use field guides.


Owls were called "cats of the skies" by our ancestors. Unique feather, eye and ear adaptations make owls highly successful hunters. Students get a firsthand look at these fascinating features by examining owl feathers, wings, talons, and preserved specimens. Owl identification slides and recordings of owl calls are presented, as well as opportunities to dissect owl pellets.

The Sea Otter Story

Three hundred years ago otters were plentiful along the Pacific Coast, but demand for their luxuriant fur led to their extermination through most of their range, including Oregon. Learn about their daily life and habitat, why these fascinating creatures spend so much time eating and grooming, and about the kelp forest ecosystem - where the sea otter is a "keystone species".

Bird Identification -- Classroom Introduction

Birds have very distinctive characteristics – if you know what to look for. Students will learn about plumage, flight, behavior and habitat through a PowerPoint presentation. The class includes an introduction to field guides and has a related art activity. This program is suitable for grades 2-5.

Build a Nest Box

Many birds build nests inside the natural cavities that are disappearing as we continue to develop the land. A well-constructed nest box provides birds with a safe place to raise their young. By assembling a wooden nest box, students learn about cavity-nesting birds, invasive species and how to place, monitor, and maintain the box. Class size for this program is limited to 30 students, unless approved in advance by the presenter. An additional fee of $4 per nest box will be charged to cover the cost of materials. Students will take home their completed nest box.


Bats have suffered from superstition and persecution since ancient times.  Through slides and video excerpts this class introduces students to bats in general and Oregon bats in particular.  Students will see graphically how bats have the same basic anatomy as humans, but with some dramatic modification.

Bird on a Stick -- Field Identification

Learn to spot and identify birds in the enjoyable schoolyard program.  Using our binoculars, field guides and "birds on sticks," students will discover that plumage, size, shape, behavior and habitat are all clues and tools for identification of bird species.  This class is suitable for grades 3-5 and is a good follow-up to the Bird Identification class.


Beavers are famous for the speed and thoroughness with which they alter their environments.  See how they construct dams, lodges and even canals in the quest for building materials and food.  Learn about the extended families and how at two years of age, then leave their parents and go on hazardous journeys to find and develop their own home sites.  This program uses high quality videos, poster boards, skulls, chewed branches and a pelt.


All of these interactive discovery programs provide students with real-world examples while complementing teachers' lessons plans and all programs are designed to comply with many of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Program Fees:

All programs are available for a $25 fee.

The "Building a Nest Box" program has an additional fee of $4 per student, to cover the cost of next box materials.

Click here to download a Scholarship Application form. 

Scholarships are made available through a grant from the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, who has been a long-time supporter of the Salem Audubon Society Education Program.

To schedule a program, call or email Lowell Spring, Education Coordinator, 503-949-2017 or


Special thanks to Marion Soil and Water Conservation District for providing funds for the scholarships to this program.