Hey Zach5187. Your situation sounds similar to my situation earlier this month (see training, Subject: Force Fetch Question). It does depend on your goals for the dog - what you hunt, what your expectations are in the field. I personally like my dog to point and stand-off prey until I can flush the bird, and have a clear shot with minimal risk to the dog (an ideal for me), so I focus pretty hard on Whoa so the dog will stay put until I send her after the shot bird, or return her to hunting (in the "rare" case I miss...). I have seen dogs jump into the line of fire after a bird flushes (although rare it does happen - I have been lucky enough to not see a dog hit when this happens), so I teach Whoa, and also put an orange vest on my dog (see pictures...) to increase visibility. But I digress...
As to Force-Fetch (also Trained-retrieve, Smart Fetch...): I personally see value in it. I hunt in pretty rough cover, so getting the dog onto the bird is nice, but a dog that would pick it up and bring it back to me and hold it until I take it is the ultimate in ensuring conservation, in my mind. I have had Sadie out twice this year, and although (right now) she is chasing the shot bird, and pinning it so I can get it, I routinely run (like an idiot, by the way - I am not that agile... )past where the bird went down, and have to come back to her to find out that she is on it. Further, I realize that if she left the bird, it would remain in the field (I would never find it).
You will read a TON of information on Force Fetch (not to mention e-collars, negative reinforcement, punishment...). I will tell you the people who FF their dogs properly swear by it. Personally going through the process, I see no difference between training the dog to retrieve, and training the dog to sit, or heel, or come (or whoa).
As to birds or not, I would get the dog on birds (personally). I value every opportunity I have to get my dog on birds - they learn so fast from the experiences. I might train Whoa first (again, because I want my dog to stand-off the birds, have solid points, and stay out of the line of fire) if I were you. I would not expect (or force) the dog to retrieve at this point (if they haven't demonstrated it so far). If the dog decides to - BONUS! Just don't expect it .
Definately get a good book, or DVD on FF if you decide to pursue that path. I use Dobbs (TriTronics Retreiver Training), which is a good overall reference. Evan Graham SmartFetch is one that is more focused on the topic (and will be recommended...). SmartFetch is also available in DVD which is a more rich training reference - from what I hear.
Hope that helps (I rambled alot...). Good luck!!