Hi smartfinch - Did you want to work with birds or did you want to teach about birds, or do you want to study birds. If you want a casual background in ornithology Cornell University offers an online course for beginners.
If you want to help birds and actively learn how to rehabilitate sick, injured, or oiled birds there is tri state bird rescue and research in Newark, DE. They can help assist you with your quest.
If you want to actively engage in environmental impact studies and work in the field, then you might want to explore the Hawk Mountain Association.
Any one of these will give you an opportunity to decide if you want to specialize or remain a general ornithologist.