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2023 Workshop: Introduction To Raptor Handling and Banding

Update: as of Feb 28, 2023 this workshop is full! Registration is closed.

If you would like to join the waitlist for this workshop, or receive emails about upcoming workshops, please fill out our workshop form.

We are pleased to announce that we will be offering our “Introduction to Raptor Handling and Banding Techniques” 4-full day workshop in the Fall of 2023 at our Lucky Peak Migratory Research Station in beautiful Boise, Idaho!

two scientists gently holding 2 different raptor species in their left hand, while holding open a wing in the right hand for a size comparison. The bird on the right is more than twice the size of the bird on the left
A Sharp-shinned (L) and Cooper’s Hawk (R) pose for a size comparison before the crew releases them to continue their migration. Photo Credit: Craig Wheeler

This highly sought after intensive field techniques workshop will take place September 11-14, 2023. We developed this informative introductory workshop specifically for people with little to no raptor experience with the objective to introduce several common techniques used in many raptor-related field jobs. Anyone is welcome to attend: professionals, students, birders, and those interested in learning more about raptor field techniques.

September is a peak time in southern Idaho for raptor migration and the workshop will be held at our Lucky Peak research station, near Boise, Idaho which supports one of the largest fall raptor migrations in the west. IBO has counted and banded raptors at this location for 29 years.

two biologists work together to band a large Northern Goshawk
Rob and Steph work to band an adult Northern Goshawk

Topics we will cover include: safe handling of live raptors, introduction to banding techniques, ageing and sexing, taking measurements, properly caring for lure birds, recording accurate data, common capture techniques at migration stations (bow net, dho gaza, mist net), techniques for road trapping (Bal-chatri), breeding season techniques (observe demonstrations of tree climbing by trained climber using harnesses and other gear), and long-distance raptor identification by flight style and shape (hawk watch techniques).

During “down-times” before and after raptor trapping, workshop participants are invited to observe songbird banding in the mornings and observe owl banding in the evenings. However, participants should note that these banding activities are not included as a part of the hands-on workshop agenda and will be conducted by the Lucky Peak banding crew only.

a saw whet owl on the left glares with bright yellow eyes. A flammulated owl on the left looks sleepy
The 2 most popular nighttime visitors from the forests of Lucky Peak- a Northern Saw-whet (left) and a Flammulated Owl (right). Photo Credit: Nick Alioto

The workshop fee is $850 and is taught by IBO raptor biologists certified as trainers by the North American Banding Council.

Enrollment is limited to 8 people. Please note that participants should not expect to become certified banders as part of this introductory workshop, though a certificate of completion will be awarded at its conclusion.

Weather conditions will play a major role in how many birds we catch each day.

Free overnight camping at our research station is available for the nights of the 10th-14th only.

a biologist's hand, holding a Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon by Rob Miller