Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu


The Intermountain Bird Observatory contributes to community education and is committed to teaching students and naturalists alike about migratory birds, their conservation, and field techniques used to study them. Read below for more information on these workshops.


The Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) is hosting two raptor-related workshops: an introductory field techniques workshop (September 3-7, 2018), and a North American Banding Council (NABC) certification session (September 17-21, 2018). Details of each workshop are outlined below.


Introductory Raptor Field Techniques Workshop  – September 3-7, 2018

We developed the introductory workshop for folks with little to no raptor banding experience.  The workshop is well suited for students, birders, naturalists, biological consultants, and anyone interested in learning more about raptor identification, trapping or banding.  September is a peak time in southern Idaho for raptor migration and the workshop will be held at one of our research stations on the Boise Ridge which supports one of the largest known raptor migrations in the western U.S. during autumn.  IBO has counted and banded raptors at this location for 24 years.  Topics we will cover include: safe handling of live raptors, introduction to banding techniques, identifying, 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), road trapping (Bal-chatri design and use), breeding season techniques (tree climbing, GHOW lure), a brief introduction to accessing raptor nests, and an introduction to raptor identification by flight style and shape. There will also be opportunity to observe and possibly participate in owl banding each night (Northern Saw-whet and Flammulated). Participants should not expect to become certified banders as part of this introductory workshop. There is no NABC certification as part of this workshop.  The five-day workshop fee is $700 and is taught by NABC certified trainers. There is extensive teaching for all skill levels in this workshop. Register early – enrollment is limited to 8 people.


North American Banding Council certification – September 17-21, 2018

The mission of the NABC is to promote sound and ethical bird-banding practices and techniques.  This is a separate workshop designed for folks that already have some level of raptor trapping and banding experience. NABC offers certification at three levels: Assistant, Bander, and Trainer, depending on your level of expertise and experience.

NABC certification shows potential employers and colleagues that you care about ethical and top-quality banding practices. It also shows that you have attained a specific level of competency.

There is a $35 NABC fee for each certification level (payable directly to NABC), and a $400 fee (paid to Boise State University, not IBO) to cover the instructors’ time. Register early – enrollment is limited to 6 people. 

Please read the below link (expectations) to determine if you qualify for attendance in this certification workshop. This workshop is for folks with a certain level of experience already, and there won’t be extensive teaching (unlike the introductory raptor workshop). This workshop is mainly to refresh, test, and become certified (with some teaching).

Expectations for each NABC certification level –   please read to see if you qualify!

Registration Form

Daily schedule – we are still working on this, but there will likely be two days of classroom, and then a practice day in the field for everyone to get used to our blind/trap set up system and overall to get comfortable, and then the last two days will be comprised of testing/assessing your field skills and catching raptors (and having fun too!).  Please read this schedule. Although it is for a different workshop, all the information for camping and transportation is the same. Email me if you have questions.



More details on the songbird workshop coming soon…



Contact Jessica Pollock for more information.