Ever wonder about the nesting habits of the American Goldfinch or the feeding patterns of the brown-headed cowbird?

Want to be astute to the breeding seasons of the red-headed woodpecker and Texas Roadrunner?

Sally Nolen, director of Cleburne ISD community education, may have the class for you.

Offered for the first time this spring will be bird identification and bird walk with Billy Teels, a veteran birder and president of the Rio Brazos chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, which has members in Hood, Johnson and Somervell counties.

The class will be conducted in a pair of two-hour lectures on April 6 and April 8, with a field trip on April 10 at Cleburne State Park.

Teels, a Granbury resident, conducts the bird walks at Acton Nature Center in Hood County.

Almost 100 bird species have been inventoried. Among the most unusual is the yellow rail, spotted in the nature center’s small windmill pond.

Yellow rails are frequently heard, according to their enthusiasts, but rarely seen.

Nolen said she had the idea for the class while speaking with contacts at Cleburne State Park.

I was thinking of nature classes that might be interesting,” she said, “and I called the state park to ask if there were any groups that came out there. They told me about the Master Naturalists. I didn’t know we had any in our area. They gave me the name, Rio Brazos Master Naturalists. I went online and found their president, Billy Teels. I called and talked to him, and he said he’d be thrilled to teach a class over here.”

Students won’t be required to supply any equipment, though binoculars and a comfortable pair of shoes for the Saturday walk may be a good idea.

“Billy is asking everyone to bring their favorite bird field guide,” Nolen said. “Some of the people in the class will be more experienced birders, but it’s not an advanced class. It’s for beginners. The bird walk on Saturday is to identify birds that are seen at the park.”

Nolen said she never knows what kind of response to expect to a new class listing.

“A lot of times, people have to look at and hear about a new class,” she said. “We have the bird class spotlighted on the back of the community ed catalogue, and hopefully that will raise a lot of interest. The speaker is very experienced. I think he’ll be very good. We’ll need at least five students to sign up. We need to be able to justify his coming over and paying him a little bit. We would love to have 10 to 15 people sign up.”

Other classes include All About Bridge for beginners; conversational Spanish; dog obedience, You’re on the Air, a class on doing voice-overs; Organizing 101; first aid and CPR; successful gardening; drivers education and driver safety; wood carving; ballroom dance; beginning guitar; bread-making; and a smattering of courses related to interior design.

“Jackie Saylors, a well known Cleburnite, is going to teach bridge,” Nolen said. “We’ve had calls in the past requesting a bridge class, and Jackie has taught a lot of bridge players in Cleburne. She’s so much fun.

“Debbie Monahan will teach Organizing 101. She’s from McKinney and feels it‘s her mission in life to help people get organized. She is hysterically funny. She travels all over the country doing seminars. She’ll actually come into your home as a consultant.

“We’ll be offering drivers ed again [along with Burleson community ed]. With changes in the legislation, everyone under the age of 18 will have to have drivers ed, either from parents or in a program like this one. That class fills up, as does the drivers safety class. Most insurances accept that class for discount on insurance. It does not qualify as a defensive driving course.

“Sheryl Powers teaches the voice-over class. She can give you a good idea whether that’s something the student could pursue. Taking one class is not going to make you James Earl Jones, but she can give you an idea of what to do. They actually record you on their equipment, so you can hear your voice when they play it back. Sometimes, that’s enough to make people go, ‘Oh, never mind.’

“The dog obedience class almost always fills up. The teacher trains and breed champion dogs. She trains them as [drug sniffing] dogs and for work in movies. Enrollment in the CPR class ebbs and flows. We’re offering a new class for child care workers on a Saturday because if you work in day care or child care, you’re required to be certified annually.”

Successful gardening, taught by Ben Oefinger and Elaine Bell, didn’t attract enough students last year.

“You can learn about vegetables, shrubs, trees, whatever you’re interested in doing,” Nolen said. “They cover all topics. Ben is a Master Gardener. This is Elaine’s first year to teach for us.”

Bread-making, taught by pastry chef Staci Lowe, is as popular as one might expect.

“She’s going to include lunch by making pizza,” Nolen said. “She’ll use some of the dough that the students make. Another cute class we offer is called Manners Matter. It’s an etiquette class taught by Wilma Reed and designed for kids. They learn the importance of things like eye contact and how to set a dinner table.”

For information on community ed classes or to register, call 817-202-1181 or visit www.cleburnecommedreg.com.

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