Wolf Ridge

Bird Banding Courses

We are excited to offer Institute for Bird Populations courses for bird banders again this summer. Both Beginning and Advanced Courses will be offered. Classes fill quickly, so be sure to register early!

  • 1 of 6

  • 2 of 6

    Class is kept small to let you get up close every time.

  • 3 of 6

    Advanced course concentrates on aging birds through feather studies.

  • 4 of 6

    Wolf Ridge's 2000-acres provide a wide variety of habitats for summer breeding species.

  • 5 of 6

    Participate in the nationwide MAPS bird banding study.

  • 6 of 6

    Band a variety of northern species.


Advanced Bird Banding Course

The advanced classes are designed to help participants to fine tune the banding skills they already possess and to advance their comprehension of molt strategies and ability to recognize molts limits and plumages on birds in hand. Classes are very individualized and the rate of progression will be dependent upon the skill level of the participants. There will be a concentration on details of feather morphology, plumages, and molt limits.

Some of the skills that will be reviewed and expanded upon in the morning field sessions include

  • operation of and removal of birds from mist nets so that extraction speeds and safety are increased
  • bird-handling skills, e.g. using proper grips and minimizing of bird stress
  • in-hand ageing and sexing techniques, e.g. fine tuning of skulling, scoring on the data sheet, recognizing molt limits

Lectures and discussions in the afternoons cover

  • avian life histories
  • energetics
  • molts
  • plumages
  • the role of banding in research and monitoring

Before attending an advanced class, participants should be able to handle and set up mist-nets; be able to extract birds from mist-nets; and have familiarity with ageing hatch-year versus after-hatch-year birds.

Participants should come prepared with questions that have arisen during their banding operations and work with the instructor to focus on the particular skills they would like to improve upon.


Beginner Bird Banding Course

The seven-day introductory courses are designed to provide both amateur birders and professional biologists with the skills necessary to participate in monitoring and research programs involving bird banding.

 Skills taught include:

  • Operation of mist-nets and safe extraction of birds
  • Bird-handling skills
  • In-hand ageing and sexing techniques
  • Scoring and recording data using MAPS protocol and forms

Lectures and discussions cover:

  • Banding ethics
  • Avian life histories, energetics, molts, and plumages
  • The permitting process
  • The role of banding in research and monitoring

Need More Details?

More details are at the Institute for Bird Populations website. For more information about course content please contact the instructor Danielle Kaschube (dkaschube@birdpop.org).

About Instructor Danielle Kaschube


Danielle (Dani) Kaschube (née O’Grady)

Dani has a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Calgary, where she studied longspurs, shrikes, bats, and arthropods. She joined the MAPS program as a summer intern in Kansas in 1995 and then moved to an office position in the fall of the same year.

Since starting at IBP she has worked for the Institute in a number of capacities, including being a data verifier, supervising field biologist, data analyst and bander trainer. Her current roles include data analyst, MAPS Coordinator, and Bander Training Coordinator. She works part time for IBP from her home office in Los Angeles, California.

Housing and Meals

A place to kick back and relax.

Housing for Beginning session

Participants will be housed in East Dorm. Two to three people will share a room. Bathrooms and showers are inside the rooms. A common ‘great room’ features plenty of room for games and windows overlook the beauty of the northwoods forests. Learn more about the East Dorm.

Housing for Advanced session

We’re pleased to announce the temporary Family Camp housing – deluxe RV trailers custom made for Wolf Ridge . They will be used during the later summer sessions while we renovate the dorm. Each ‘dorm room’ is a top-of-the-line new RV. Your family will have a sofa, generous open area, cabinets, wardrobes, dinette, full size bathroom with a shower and tub, and electric service that is hard-wired into the grid. Two to three people will share a unit, which has one queen bed in a private room, two bunked beds, and two single beds to choose from. Laundry and internet are near-by. These brand new RV units are being specially made for Wolf Ridge’s summer use. See a 360-degree view of here.  (Note that our floor plan is slightly different that shown in the link – see diagram below.)

In summer of 2018, banding workshop housing will move into a new permanent home in the updated West Dorm.

Fuel for your imagination.

We take great pride in our daily meals.  Whether families are coming in from a day spent outside, or getting ready for the day, everyone will find choices to satisfy their appetites in the Lake Superior Dining Room.

Chris O’Brien, our food service director, believes “we should all be fed well, every meal, every day.” From-scratch vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes are available at each and every meal. Vegan dishes are inherently free of any animal product, including dairy, and are most often gluten free as well. All dietary requests are addressed and often the menu is adjusted to reflect the needs and wants of our clients. Those with common food allergy and sensitivities, including to dairy or peanuts, will find good, healthy food that addresses their needs. Fresh fruit, veggies, and homemade breads are available all day, in addition to coffee and tea.

Chris and his staff go above and beyond to meet our guests needs and work hard to produce a choice driven, healthy, hearty meal while creating a sense of community here at Wolf Ridge. Most of our produce is from the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm and our meats and other products are sourced as locally as possible. It’s about quality. It’s about passion. It’s about good food done well.

Learn more about our dining hall and see sample menus.


Advanced Bird Banding:  June 13 – 17, 2017
Beginning Bird Banding:  June 18 – 25, 2017

The Advanced course is limited to 9 participants. The Beginning course is limited to 8 participants.


Advanced Bird Banding:  $950
Beginning Bird Banding:  $2050

Prices include programing, housing, meals, and most learning supplies.  A $150 non-refundable down payment is required to hold a spot in either class.

We accept credit cards (VISA, Mastercard or Discover) as well as checks.

To Register

You can register online for this program.