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!

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

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    Advanced course concentrates on aging birds through feather studies.

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

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    Participate in the nationwide MAPS bird banding study.

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    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.

Families will be housed in our East Dorm. Each room sleeps up to eight family members, with bathrooms and showers in the rooms. A great room features plenty of room for games and windows overlook the beauty of the northwoods forests. Each family unit shares a room. Learn more about the East Dorm.

Fuel for your imagination.

Whether you 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.  Enjoy the range of delicious menu options which includes local, organic or fresh foods from the Wolf Ridge farm.  A hot vegetarian alternative, fresh fruit and vegetables, locally made cheeses and  fresh baked breads, cakes and cookies are included with every meal and snack.

Our kitchen staff regularly works with participants to meet allergy and dietary concerns. Requests for special dietary concerns must be made a minimum of two weeks in advance of arrival for planning purposes. Click on “Resources” (top menu, to the right) for more information.  Vegetarians can indicate their preference when completing camp registration.

Learn more about our Dining Hall and Food Services.


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.