Saw-whet Owl Banding

For adults who want to learn about the mysteries and study of  “the unseen migration” of nocturnal owls.

October 1-3, 2021

A hands-on, activity-oriented introduction to fall raptor banding focusing on Saw-whet Owls migrating down the Lake Superior corridor.

In this workshop, you will…

    • Receive fundamental and focused hands-on instruction on the owl banding process, including how to attract, net, handle, age, and band them.
    • Explore how the scientific study of birds, and Saw-whet Owl banding, in particular, informs forest management practices.
    • Learn about other species (i.e. Long-eared, Boreal, and Great Grey owls) that use the Lake Superior flyway.
    • Hear about additional owl monitoring techniques used by researchers in Minnesota.

About instructors Dave Grosshuesch and Peter Harris


Dave Grosshuesch’s enthusiasm and knowledge of migratory birds has few equals. He has worked as a passerine and raptor bander and raptor counter for Hawk Ridge Observatory in Duluth Minnesota. He currently works for the United States Forest Service as a wildlife biologist. Dave holds a master bird-banding license and currently runs a MAPS station in the summer months and an owl banding station in the fall. Not only does Dave participate in the collection of bird-banding data, but he also analyses the data and employs it in his job with the Superior National Forest in Tofte, MN.

Peter Harris coordinates research and science projects at Wolf Ridge. He supervises the Center’s bird banding programs, and has been banding and providing education around the science of bird banding for almost 40 years. Over his career, countless students have been able to get up close and personal with songbirds and raptors. Peter is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

Lodging and meals

Having a place to socialize and relax during downtime is another important part of the Wolf Ridge experience.
Participants for this workshop will live 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.

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.

MAC Lodge provides dormitory-style lodging with a private twist. Each dorm “suite” consists of two sleeping rooms with bunk beds, a bathroom, and a shower room. Each sleeping room has a door that can be shut for privacy. For this workshop, two people of the same gender will share a suite. If you would prefer a suite all to yourself, you may request one when you register (see details below.)

Home-cooked food from right down the road
We take great pride in our daily meals. Whether you are coming in from a day spent outside or getting ready for upcoming adventures, everyone will find choices to satisfy their appetites in the Lake Superior or the Fireplace Dining Room. Most of our produce is from the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm and our meats and other products are sourced as locally as possible. Fresh fruit, veggies, and snacks are available all day, in addition to coffee and tea.

Please note dietary requests, concerns, and preferences when completing registration materials.

Dates and costs

October 1-3, 2021
3 days, 2 nights

  • Arrive Friday, October 1 between 4-5 pm
  • The workshop begins with Friday dinner at 5:15 pm
  • Depart Sunday, October 3 after lunch

$349 includes all instruction, materials, and meals, plus lodging in a 2-bedroom suite

  • Optional, single person in a suite – no sharing of bathroom or shower, add $125

Sign up!


  • Maximum of 8 participants
  • This workshop requires late-night learning and activity
  • Open to adults 18 and older
  • Please note any dietary requests, concerns, and preferences when completing registration materials
  • For COVID-19, we follow the most current CDC guidelines and the recommendations of Minnesota and Lake County public health officials. See COVID information.


Email krysty.fulton@wolf-ridge.org or call 218-353-7414.