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Professional Programs

The Institute for Bird Populations Bird Banding Class

  • Beginning Bird Banding
  • Advanced Bird Banding

The Institute for Bird Populations created the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship program (MAPS) to assess and monitor North American landbird populations and the factors responsible for changes in their populations. This critical information is obtained from the analyses of the data collected by dedicated volunteers operating bird-banding stations each summer.

Many of the staff at Howell Woods are trained and experienced bird banders who have all completed the Beginner and Advanced classes. These staff members co-instruct and assist with the field portion of both classes. IBP provides the instructor for the classroom portion of the classes and assists the Howell Woods staff during the field portion.

Beginning Bird Banding Class- This is a seven-day introductory course taught by a bander trainer for the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP). It is designed to equip both amateur birders and professional biologists with the necessary skills to participate in monitoring and research programs involving bird banding. The specific skills taught include: operation of and removal of birds from mist nets, bird-handling skills, in-hand ageing and sexing techniques and data scoring and recording using MAPS protocol and forms.

This is a fast-paced course, but there is also some free time. Please visit The Institute for Bird Populations website at www.birdpop.org/maps.htm for more course details.

Advanced Bird Banding Class- This is a four day course designed for experienced bird banders who want to improve their bird sexing and ageing skills. The focus of the class is on understanding and identifying the differences between specific adult age classes using the Identification Guide to North American Birds by Peter Pyle. Other advanced skills taught include: skulling, refining the scoring of various characteristics and interpreting these characteristics for age and sex determinations.

Participants must meet the following prerequisites to be eligible to attend the advanced class: be able to handle and set up mist nets, be able to extract birds from mist nets and have basic familiarity with ageing hatch-year versus after-hatch-year birds.

Please visit The Institute for Bird Populations website at www.birdpop.org/maps.htm for more course details.

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