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Beginning Bird Banding Workshop

September 6 - September 8

$60 – $229

MGBS Banding

Indiana Audubon is offering a unique banding workshop for individuals wanting to learn more about bird banding for research, experience, or to advance your field ornithology knowledge.  These workshops will introduce participants to the use of bird banding, bird banding ethics, understanding bird molt for ageing and sexing birds in hand, and how bird banding is being used in Indiana. 

The Indiana Audubon Bird Banding Workshop takes place at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, in Connersville, IN.  Participants will receive in the field training in extraction, handling, and understanding bird molt.   The 2019 workshop takes place September 6-8, 2019 and costs $249 for the weekend.  Discounts available for Indiana Audubon members. Included in registration is breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday, and breakfast Sunday.  Additionally, camping is available on property for those wishing to stay on site.  Workshop participation is limited to maximize one-on-one training with bird in-hand experience.

All participants should plan to arrive on Friday evening.  In addition to camping options, lodging is available in Connersville at the Woodridge Inn or Rushville at the Quality Inn.  Each hotel is from 18-25 minutes away.  Depending upon your room choice, rates are between $80-$95 per night.  Camping is primitive, with non-electric sites.  Modern restrooms are available a short distance away.

Workshop activities and instruction will revolve around the normal daily banding operation at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. The workshop begins with the opening net round which is approximately 30 minutes before sunrise. If conditions are safe for banding, the nets will remain open for four hours and be checked every 30 minutes.

Participants will begin by observing instructors during the banding process, rapidly progressing to hands-on experience. Beginners will be taught safe handling practices the first day and in subsequent days given one-on-one instruction on extraction at the nets. Later in the course, as time and advancement allow, beginners will have the opportunity to band birds and discuss criteria used to age and sex birds. Advanced participants will initially be showing molt limits in the hand but will progress to ageing birds on their own, and will be “quizzed” by the final days of the workshop. Participants may ask to join in on net rounds or banding, and are encouraged to observe and participate, as time allows, in the parts of the banding operation that interest them.

*The safety and well-being of every bird is our top priority, so every participant will not handle every bird. However, every effort will be made for participants to see interesting molt limits/strategies or interesting species.

Afternoon sessions will focus on how banding is being used in the field at various levels and opportunities participants have around the state or country to use banding for research and education. The Saturday night session will include a keynote dinner and a chance to unwind and process everything learned that day.  It is expected that all participants possess a basic knowledge of field bird ID prior to the workshop.

Participants are encouraged to register early, as space is limited.  Similar banding workshops cost several hundred dollars more around the country.  Those wishing for financial assistance may apply for a banding workshop scholarship to cover the costs of the registration.  To apply, visit here.  The deadline to apply is August 1.

The tentative schedule is below.


September 6
September 8
$60 – $229
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Indiana Audubon Society


Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary
3499 S Bird Sanctuary Rd
Connersville, IN 47331 United States
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8 available
Banding Workshop Registration$229.00Registration for bird banding workshop. $20 discount applied to IAS members. Members must log in before registering. Join IAS at indianaaudubon.org/membership.
14 available
Add Pyle's Bird ID Book$60.00Add Peter Pyle's Identification Guide to North American Birds. Part I: Columbidae to Ploceidae to workshop materials. Essential guide for any bird bander.

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