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Weekends at Wolf Ridge: Saw-whet Owl Banding

September 22, 2023 @ 3:00 p.m. - September 24, 2023 @ 2:00 p.m.


Spend a glorious fall weekend on the North Shore of Minnesota gaining hands-on experience and learning from experts in their field.

Workshops take place on the Wolf Ridge campus and surrounding areas, with lodging and meals provided. Whether you’re a seasoned naturalist or just a curious learner, the experience is designed for lifelong learners who have a passion for the natural world. Participants select a single workshop for the weekend but will have an opportunity to connect with other workshop groups during meals and evening programming.

Workshop: Saw-whet Owl Banding

Hands-on/ activity-oriented introduction to fall raptor banding focusing on owls migrating down the Lake Superior corridor. The emphasis will be on Northern Saw-whet owls, however, we will spend time talking about other species (i.e. Long-eared, Boreal, and Great Grey owls) that use this corridor. Workshop participants will receive fundamental and focused instruction on how to capture, handle, age, and process owls. Time will also be spent talking about other owl monitoring techniques used in Minnesota.

Instructor: Peter Harris

Peter Harris has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota. He began working at Wolf Ridge at the original Isabella location. in 1983, and remained on staff for 40 years until his recent retirement in 2023. He was the Scientific Project Coordinator at Wolf Ridge, and worked closely with multitudes of scientific research organizations such as the Institute for Bird Populations to host bird banding classes for teens and adults. Peter has a master banding license and has been banding birds for 30+ years, specializing in banding passerines and small raptors. He has been integral in the development of field scientific research at Wolf Ridge, starting the MAPS banding station, which is now the 2nd longest running station in the country. Peter was also closely involved in the reintroduction of Peregrine falcons to the North Shore.

Note: In the case of rain alternative programming will be offered.

Register for this Workshop

Lodging Information

Dining Information

Directions to Wolf Ridge

Weekend Workshop Schedule

Friday, Sep 22, 2023

  • 3:00 – 4:45 pm — Registration and check-in at the Wolf Ridge office
  • 4:00 – 4:45 pm  — Tour of the Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Lodge
  • 5:15 pm  — Dinner
  • 6:00 – 6:30 pm  — Orientation in MAC Lodge Weesner Commons
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm — 1st learning session
  • 10 pm  — Quiet time

Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

  • 7:30 am — Breakfast
  • 8:30-10:00 am  — Continental breakfast for Owl Workshop
  • 8:30-11:30 am  — 2nd learning session
  • 12:15 pm  — Lunch and bag lunch
  • 1:00 -2:00 pm – Naturalist program
  • 1:30 – 4:30 pm — 3rd learning session
  • 5:15 pm  — Dinner
  • 6:30 – 7:15 pm  — Evening presentation
  • 7:30 – 9:30 pm  — Social hour & campfire
  • 10:00 pm  — Quiet time

Sunday, Oct 2, 2022

  • 7:30 am — Breakfast
  • 8:30-10:00 am  — Continental breakfast for Owl workshop
  • *check out of rooms by 10:00 am
  • 8:30-11:30 am —4th  learning session
  • 12:15 pm — Lunch & check-out
  • 12:30 – Owl workshop ends
  • 12:30-1:30 pm — Optional: Use of designed rooms to shower before leaving
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Naturalist program

On Friday afternoon before registration or on Sunday afternoon you’re welcome to hike our trails and enjoy the fall colors.

Packing List

You should plan to venture out in rain or shine and the instructors may follow up with more information on specific details about your workshop if applicable. You can expect nighttime temperatures to range from 25°F to 50°F and daytime temperatures up to 65°F. Please be prepared so you can feel comfortable if it is cool or rainy. Most of the walking you will do is on nice graveled trails, but some trails are rugged. Photography will be a common thread throughout the weekend so we encourage you to bring a camera. If you do not own a digital camera, we can loan you one for the weekend.

  • Rain suit with pants and hood
  • Walking or hiking shoes
  • Warm jacket
  • Sweater or fleece
  • Warm hat
  • Light shirts
  • Light pants
  • Wool Socks (recommended for hiking)
  • Soap, shampoo, other toiletries
  • Personal water bottle
  • Sunscreen, sun hat

Optional Items:

  • Knee-high rubber boots
  • Non-aerosol insect repellent
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Alarm clock
  • Small backpack for day use
  • Snacks (space available in group refrigerator)

Wolf Ridge will provide linens, blankets, towels, and a pillow.



September 22, 2023 @ 3:00 pm
September 24, 2023 @ 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
6282 Cranberry Road
Finland, MN 55603
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(218) 353-7414
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On Campus, Some Travel Off Campus
Adult Education