Wolf Ridge

Ornithology Field Camp

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Entering grades 10-12

Experience the exciting world of bird research! In this hands-on camp you will bird band, conduct song surveys, and explore the diverse ecosystems that draw so many species to northeastern Minnesota. Handle forest songbirds and make sound maps to locate nesting territories. Learn about peregrine falcon research on the north shore. Your teachers are nationally respected professional ornithologists who love to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with young people. You will leave Wolf Ridge with a better understanding of the world of breeding birds, how we study them, and how we can help their populations thrive.


Ornithology Field program location & activities


The Arrowhead of Minnesota offers many excellent opportunities to watch birds.  It is a highly diverse area in its vegetation, age, water locales and patch mosaic.  This results in many diverse habitats for birds and a list of 225 regular species plus 45 casual species.  On this list 163 species breed, including 24 species of warblers.  The Superior National Forest which is located nearby was recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as one of 50 Globally Important Bird Areas of the United States.

Program Activities

We believe in nurturing the curiosity, growth and independent spirit of each camper, every year that they attend.  The Ornithology Field Camp is an immersive week-long birding and nature experience that will provide a unique learning opportunity for the upcoming generation of ornithologists, naturalists and environmental scientists.  During Ornithology Field Camp…

  • Meet other young birders and naturalists will similar interests
  • Develop advanced field identification skills in a bird rich environment
  • Participate in authentic field research projects including;
    • MAPS: Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship
    • Sound Census for bird population on the Superior Hiking Trail
    • Peregrine Falcon banding and data collection
  • Learn proper bird handling, net removal skills, and in-hand aging and bird sexing techniques
  • Hone observation and analytical abilities
  • Develop an understanding of ecology and conservation biology
  • Challenge yourself rock climbing and hiking the Superior Hiking Trail
  • Enjoy learning in the beautiful landscapes of Lake Superior’s north shore.

Housing and Meals

A place to kick back and relax.

Campers will be housed in our Summit Lodge (East Dorm). Each room features its own bathroom and shower, bunks beds, and camper gear cubbies. Camp staff also live in the dorm, with one counselor per room. There are cozy gathering spaces for game playing during down time, plus a grass field just out the door. Kids and staff gather at the near-by campfire ring before meals to sing songs, share stories of their adventures, and learn what the next part of the day will bring. The Summit Lodge is the perfect place to grow the deep, closely knit community that makes camp so special.


Fuel for your imagination.

Whether they’re coming in from a long day outside or getting ready for the day, campers will satisfy their appetites in the Fireplace Dining Room. 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 options are offered at each and every meal.

On trail, campers eat delicious, high-energy foods to fuel their wilderness exploration. Backcountry meals include burritos, alpine pasta, hearty soups, fry bread, pancakes, and oatmeal, with many other possibilities. Special dietary considerations can usually be accommodated.

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.

After a week full of friendship, fun, and teamwork, on Friday night Wolf Ridge will hold a community celebration dinner and campfire. Campers will gather in the Fireplace Dining Room to enjoy a family-style meal served by the camp directors while celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of their community members.

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

Learn more about our dining hall.

Arrival & Departure Information

It is never too early to start making travel plans for camp.  Campers arrive from all over North America and abroad so we recommend that each family make their own travel arrangements based upon their individual needs.  We ask that you please notify Jenny Bushmaker, the Summer Youth & Family Program Director at 218-353-7414 ext 110 or jenny.bushmaker@wolf-ridge.org of your travel plans by June 10th so that we will be prepared to greet your camper upon arrival!  Arrival day is Sunday, July 7, 2019 and departure day is Saturday, July 13, 2019 unless you have made other arrangements with the Directors.

Flight Information

If you are flying into the region, Wolf Ridge will provide round-trip transportation to and from camp from the Duluth Airport for $100.

Wolf Ridge is located just 75 miles from the Duluth International Airport. Air service to Duluth is provided by Delta or United Airlines via Chicago, IL or Minneapolis, MN.  Please plan your arrival flights between 10:30 am – 3:00 pm on the first day of the program, Sunday, July 7, 2019 to ensure staff will be available to pick up your camper and departure flights between 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 13, 2019.  Wolf Ridge staff will help check in campers and see them to airport security, so please arrange for meeting during designated times.


From Duluth, MN – Follow MN-61 approximately 66 miles north of Duluth to County Road 6 in Little Marais. There is a brown
sign marking the turn to Wolf Ridge. Turn Left on County Road 6. Travel 3 miles to the Wolf Ridge driveway
(Cranberry Road). Follow the driveway 3 miles to the ridgetop.

From the Twin Cities, MN – Take I-35 North from the Twin Cities to Duluth, MN. Follow directions above from Duluth, MN.

From Grand Forks, ND – Take US-2 East to Duluth, MN. Follow US-2 as it joins MN-194. Take a slight Right on to Miller Trunk Highway/US-53 South/MN-194 East. Turn Right on to Trinity Road/US-53 South. Take the I-35 North ramp. Follow directions above from
Duluth, MN.

From Eau Claire, WI – Take US-53 North into Superior, Wisconsin. Cross over the high bridge into Duluth, MN and merge onto I-35 North. Follow directions above from Duluth, MN.

Wolf Ridge Camp Transportation Option

Wolf Ridge provides transportation to and from either the Twin Cities metro area or Duluth for an extra cost.  For more information and available dates please read the Wolf Ridge Summer Camp Transportation 2019

Program Partners






The Institute for Bird Populations








July 7 – 13, 2019


Costs and Financial Assistance


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


Financial Assistance

We are happy to partner with a variety of organizations that are interested in helping you attend Wolf Ridge. Available to those who qualify. You can find details in Resources “For Summer Campers.”

Bring a Friend Discount

When you invite a new camper to Wolf Ridge, you & your friend each get $50 off your camp fee. To take advantage of this special offer, both campers must fill out and mail us “Bring a Friend” forms. You find can this in Resources “For Summer Campers.”

Sibling Discount

Available for multiple campers from the same household (must all be residents of the same household address). Call 218-353-7414 Monday-Friday between 8 and 4:30 for details.

Local Discount

Available for campers whose permanent residence is Lake or Cook County in Minnesota.  To apply for this discount, please call the office at 218-353-7414 Monday-Friday between 8 and 4:30 pm.


Cancellation Policy

  1. The $150 deposit is non-refundable in the event of a cancellation.
  2. The entire camp fee is non-refundable for  cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the camp.
  3. Transportation registration must be paid in full prior to your child boarding the bus. This fee is non-refundable if cancellation is made less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the camp session.

Resources: Get Ready for Camp!

Already signed up?

Packing lists and more can be found in Resources “For Summer Campers.”