Wolf Ridge

I.B.P. 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.


2020 Adult Workshops have been canceled

Due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, Wolf Ridge will not be having any workshops in summer 2020. Our priority during this time is the safety and well being of our participants, staff, and the broader community. We’ve canceled all programs and offered full refunds to people already registered. Stay tuned for IBP Bird Banding options in the future! If you have questions about camp, please contact Luciana Ranelli, Youth and Family Programs Director, at luciana.ranelli@wolf-ridge.org.

Wishing you all the best. We hope to see you in Summer 2021!


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 Idaho.

Housing and Meals

A place to kick back and relax.

Participants will be housed in the new Margaret A. Cargill Lodge. Our newest dorm, MAC Lodge is one of only about 40 in the world built to meet Living Building Challenge standards. Residents will experience what it’s like to live comfortably at net zero for both water end energy. Learn more about how our MAC Lodge has already changed the landscape for sustainable building in the northern US.


Margaret A. Cargill Lodge

The new Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Lodge features stunning views of the campus’s hills, valleys and cliff-lined lakes. In the common spaces you’ll find comfortable couches and chairs to relax in, tables for socializing or game-playing, and a small kitchenette with sink, microwave and refrigerator. Massive stone fireplaces with wood-burning pellet stoves grace two of the five shared areas – a perfect place to settle in and read a book during some quiet time. The outdoor deck overlooking the bird feeders behind the lodge is another favorite for enjoying some time in the sun between activities.


MAC Lodge sleeping accommodations are divided into suites. Each suite includes two bedrooms, a shared space with two sinks, and separate toilet and shower rooms. Those who want more privacy can close the sliding door to their individual bedroom. Each bedroom contains two bunkbeds and can sleep one to four people. For adult programs, a maximum of 6 people share a suite.  If you choose to pay for a single bedroom, you will have a private sleeping space, and will share a bathroom and shower with 1-3 suite-mates. Groups of four or may may request to share a suite.

Experience “Living Building Challenge” Design

MAC Lodge is one of only about 45 in the world built to meet Living Building Challenge standards. Residents will experience what it’s like to live comfortably at net zero for both water end energy. Learn more about how the MAC Lodge has already changed the landscape for sustainable building in the northern US!

Fuel for your imagination.

We take great pride in creating delicious daily meals.  Whether coming in from a day spent outside or fueling up for the next adventure, everyone will find choices to satisfy their appetites in the Lake Superior Dining Room.

Our Food

Food Service Director Chris O’Brien and his staff go above and beyond 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 while meats and other products are sourced as locally as possible.  From-scratch vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes are available at each and every meal. Fresh fruit, veggies, and homemade breads are available all day, in addition to coffee and tea.

“It’s about quality. It’s about passion. It’s about good food done well.” – Chris O’Brien

Special Diets

Our kitchen staff regularly works with participants to meet allergy and dietary concerns. Daily vegan dishes are inherently free of any animal product, including dairy, and are most often gluten free as well. Individuals with common food allergy and sensitivities, including to dairy or peanuts, will find good, healthy food at each meal that addresses their needs. Our Dining Hall is nut free. Please note dietary requests, concerns, and preferences when completing camp registration materials.


Beginning Bird Banding:  June 21 – 28, 2020
Advanced Bird Banding:  June 30 – July 4, 2020

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


Beginning Bird Banding:  $2295
Advanced Bird Banding:  $1250

Prices include programming, housing, meals, and most learning supplies.
We accept credit cards (VISA, MasterCard or Discover) as well as checks.

Deposit, Payment, and Cancellation Policy

To Register

You can register online for this program.