Recording your bird observations in a nature journal builds your bird awareness and knowledge and deepen your connection to birds

Spark your Bird Love with Nature Journaling- Level 1

Are you curious to learn:

  • Who are the birds visit your seed feeder?
  • What bird is singing that song?
  • how to remember the details of that bird or it’s name?

Feed your love of birds, increase your bird knowledge and boost your bird skills in a friendly and welcoming environment.

What comes with this course:

Starting Sep 29, 2022

Over 8 weeks:

5 Live Zoom sessions: Thursdays, 3:00-4:15pm Pacific Time

Dates: 9/29, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3 and 11/17.

Class tuition: $209

  • 5 weekly live online sessions (recordings will be available)
  • Skills practice in between weeks
  • Private online group for the class (not social media): a safe place to share pages, ask questions between classes
  • Input from Melinda
  • Class handouts
  • Recordings of all classes

Supplies Needed: Have a sketchbook and pencils.

Other optional items: Colored pencils or watercolor, with water brush

Get to know the birds around you with a simple tool:

The nature journal.

You’ll learn and practice how to see more in nature, develop sharper awareness, improve your memory, spark curiosity, and improve quick sketching skills.

The focus will be HOW to see and enjoy birds, and record observations rather than about painting or drawing birds precisely.

You'll practice strategies to supercharge your capacity to learn more and retain the details more effectively.

I will introduce you to how I have learned bird songs by visually recording them (yes, drawing sounds!!), how to listen to their sounds and begin to understand them.

You’ll practice activities that awaken your senses, hone your bird awareness, develop naturalist and sketching skills, and tap into curiosity to enhance your learning.

The nature journal will be a tool to increase your capacity to discern differences for identification, record behaviors, track seasonal changes of your birds.

You’ll begin to cultivate an intuitive knowing of birds, and nurture a personal connection with these feathers friends.

Whether you’ve just sparked your interest in birds, or you are a long-time bird lover, everyone will benefit from these fun and effective strategies.

  • No experience needed. Bring your curiosity and willingness to learn!

What people are saying about Melinda:

Inspiring and motivating

“Melinda Nakagawa is the one of the most inspiring nature journaling teachers and coaches you will meet. Her workshops combine thoughtful and personalized attention, critical principles of growth mindset, skill building and a joyful love of nature.


If you have wanted to keep your own journal, but have been intimidated from starting or looking for a way to connect again with your own practice,

Melinda will give you the tools to take the next essential steps and a roadmap to growth beyond. “

--John “Jack” Muir Laws

Nature Journal teacher and visionary

Author of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

Replenishment and gratitude

Melinda's Nature Journaling class was just what I needed to ignite a renewed gratitude for the natural world around me. It was a much-needed respite from the oversaturation of the online work I've had to do.

-Laura Founds,

Educator and community organizer

Build confidence and skills

"Even a novice will gain confidence from Melinda’s ever-cheerful and patient manner. I entered her class very nervous about drawing and journaling and came away with a new-found sense of confidence and greatly increased artistic skills. I highly recommended Melinda's class.

Bryan Taylor,

Bryan Taylor Photography

Hi I'm Melinda! Let me be your guide

I've kept a nature journal for many years. In the beginning it was mostly words-- just writing down the birds I saw on my nature walks.

Over time I incorporated new strategies and languages (writing, drawing and numerical observations) as I was introduced to them. Now, I have a whole complement of tools to use to make my nature experience richer.

It took me a while to discover my style and I have come to use my nature journal not only to learn more about the world around me, but also about myself and my connection to the natural world.

It has been a journey of discovery, healing, inner and outer growth. Nature journaling is an amazing tool to bring me joy, curiosity, wonder, and a sense of calm and centeredness in a busy, distracting world.

Let me be your guide on this journey as we delve into how you can record what you see with words, pictures and numbers to make memorable experiences. I'll introduce you to the tools, strategies and mindset to jumpstart your nature journaling practice.

Drawing is a skill, and anyone can learn to draw. It just takes a little guidance and continued practice. You can totally do this. Let's do this together!

Steller's Jays

Anne R. Student page

Baby Owls in the backyard

Jen Past Student page

Wandering Tattler

Karen W. Past studnet

Enroll me now!

Course Topics

  • One Bird at a Time: Getting to recognize and know your backyard birds.
  • Backyard Bird Besties: Focusing on your common birds first will give you a reference to learn less common and unusual birds next!
  • How to observe: Learn about body shape, size, what to look for when identifying birds.
  • Honing our Hearing in Sound symphony Learn how to listen for songs and calls, and how to draw them to better learn and remember. ( If you can recognize human voices, you can learn bird song!)
  • Sketch moving birds: How to quickly capture (sketch) moving birds on your page!
  • Deep Dive How to do a deeper study of your bird
  • Web of Whys: Cultivate awareness and curiosity

Is this for me?

I'm new to birding/birdwatching. Is this right for me?

Yes! This is for the seasoned bird watcher to the novice. You will learn how to use the journal to learn and remmber more about birds

I cannot make the live sessions, will I still benefit?

All sessions are recorded and will be available to you watch at your own time. You will also be able to engage with fellow students in our virtual community.

Do I need to be able to travel far out into nature?

No, the cool thing about birds is that they are everywhere!! So, you can watch birds from your home, deck, yard, from your car, in your neighborhood!

I don't have the amount budgeted to pay in full. Do you have a payment plan?

Yes- you can choose the payment plan option when you register!

I don't use a credit card. May I pay by check?

Yes! You can send a check to me. Please email me.

[email protected]

I'd like more personal, private guidance. Is that possible?

Yes! I offer customized private sessions to help you get past your challenges and into enjoyment of the process!!

We can discuss a package of virtual sessions. You can send me an email here: [email protected]

I love your approach and want to help others take this course! How can I help?

Wow- thank you! You can Use the Pay it forward option when you register for this course to add an extra $20 or $40.

And you can share a coupon code with a friend and both of you will save 10% on future classes-- you will get one after you register.

You can always support my work with a donation using this link here:

Choose a Pricing Option