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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.


Introductory Raptor Field Techniques Workshop  – September 17-20, 2019

The Intermountain Bird Observatory is hosting an “intensive” field techniques workshop from September 17-20, 2019. We developed the introductory workshop for folks with little to no raptor experience and our objective is to introduce you to several common techniques used in many raptor-related field jobs. Anyone is welcome to attend: professionals, students, birders, and anybody 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 25 years. 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 (tree climbing using harnesses and other gear), long-distance raptor identification by flight style and shape (hawk watch techniques), and an introduction to nocturnal owl banding (Northern Saw-whet and Flammulated) for those that can stay awake!

The workshop fee is $500 and is taught by raptor biologists certified as trainers by the North American Banding Council. Enrollment is limited to 8 people. Participants should not expect to become certified banders as part of this introductory workshop, but you will be awarded a certificate of completion to add to your resume. We have no control over the weather, so this workshop will happen rain or shine. Mother Nature is in charge with how many birds we catch. Free camping at our research station is available for the nights of the 17th-19th only (must depart Sept 20th after workshop ends). Contact with any questions.

Disclaimer – we may cancel the workshop if not enough people register. Refunds – we can refund your money fully if you cancel before August 18. After August 18, we cannot offer a refund. Workshops happen rain or shine.

North American Banding Council certification – BY REQUEST ONLY

The mission of the NABC is to promote sound and ethical bird-banding practices and techniques.  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.

Please read the below link (expectations) to determine if you qualify for this certification testing. This workshop is for folks with a certain level of experience already, and is mainly to refresh, test, and become certified. It is unlikely you will be ready to become certified after attending the introductory workshop. It requires taking the skills you’ve learned and then practicing them elsewhere before returning to certify.

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

Email if you have questions.



Details to come on the 2020 fall songbird workshop…



Contact Jessica Pollock for more information.