I.B.P. Bird Banding Courses

For adult birders looking to develop or increase their banding skills…

We are excited to offer both the Beginning and Advanced Bird Banding Courses for adults (18+)  from the Institute for Bird Populations. Classes fill quickly, so be sure to register early!

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. A summary of the course appears below. For further details, see the Institute for Bird Populations website or contact instructor Danielle Kaschube.

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 bird stress
    • in-hand aging and sexing techniques, e.g. fine-tuning of skulling, scoring on the datasheet, 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 aging 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.

July 3-7, 2022
5 days, 4 nights
TBD for 2022. (2021 cost was $1,550)


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. A summary of the course appears below. For further details, see the Institute for Bird Populations website or contact instructor Danielle Kaschube.

Skills taught include:

    • Operation of mist-nets and safe extraction of birds
    • Bird-handling skills
    • In-hand aging 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

June 24 – July 1, 2022
8 days, 7 nights
TBD for 2022. (2021 cost was $2,300)


About Instructor 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.


Lodging and Meals

Having a place to socialize and relax during downtime is another important part of the Wolf Ridge experience. You’ll be housed in a private room in our new Margaret A. Cargill Lodge. Completed in 2019, the MAC Lodge is one of only about 45 in the world built to meet Living Building Challenge standards. Here, you’ll experience what it’s like to live comfortably at net zero for both water and energy. Learn more about how the MAC Lodge has already changed the landscape for sustainable building in the northern US.

Your private suite includes two sleeping rooms with bunk beds, a private bathroom, and a shower. There are a variety of outdoor and indoor gathering spaces including the nearby campfire ring, a patio deck overlooking forest bird feeders, and nearby decks with panoramic views of the Sawmill Creek valley. Indoors, you’ll find two wood stoves, comfortable seating for reading or visiting, a kitchenette, and access to the lodge balcony with stunning views of the campus’s hills and cliff-lined lakes.

All meals are provided.  Please note dietary requests, concerns, and preferences when completing registration materials.

If you have questions regarding lodging, meals, or travel please feel free to contact Wolf Ridge at 218-353-7414 or krysty.fulton@wolf-ridge.org.

COVID Practices

We follow the most current CDC guidelines and the recommendations of Minnesota and Lake County public health officials. See COVID information.

Ready to register?*

Please register early for your course. Classes fill quickly!

* Important Travel Planning Notes

  • If we do not have the minimum number of registrations needed to run the course by May 20 the class may be canceled. If Wolf Ridge cancels the course, you will receive a full refund. We recommend that you DO NOT make travel arrangements until we notify you that the class has met the minimum number of registrations.
  • Due to COVID, Wolf Ridge is not able to provide transportation to and from our campus this year.