Bird Banding


Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conducts banding at two stations each spring in Colorado and five stations each fall in Colorado and Nebraska. Teachers and group leaders can arrange a visit for groups of students and individual visitors are welcome.  For hours of operation and how to visit, see details on each station’s map pin or the dropdown menus below.

ORANGE pins indicate a fall station, GREEN pins indicate spring, and BLUE indicates a station that operates in both spring and fall.

Note: Banding dates are subject to change. Stations must close for high winds, heavy precipitation or other inclement weather.

Banding Station Details:

Colorado Banding Stations:

Bird Banding program information:

Colin Woolley
Banding Coordinator
(303) 659-4348 x45
[email protected]

Barr Lake Banding Station

Location: Barr Lake State Park

Fall 2019 dates: Aug 24 through Oct 13; 7 – 11:30 a.m., closed Mondays.

Commonly-banded birds: House Wren, Wilson’s Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow

2019 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Registration is not required for individuals. Pre-registration is required for groups over 10 people. Click here to submit a reservation request.

For more information, contact Kelsey Mazur by email or phone: (303) 659-4348 x10

Chatfield Banding Station

This banding station is a partnership with Denver Audubon

This station operates in the Spring of each year, typically late April to last weekend in May.

Location: Audubon Center on the southwest side of Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO

Visit: Registration is required for groups anytime and individuals on weekends. CLICK HERE make a weekend reservation for individuals.

A private group may (subject to availability) book a visit to the banding station Wednesday – Friday from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Contact Denver Audubonfor group reservations.

Individuals may visit weekdays without registering before the school groups, which arrive between 9 and 10 a.m.

For more information, contact Denver Audubon by email or phone: (303) 973-9530.

Chico Basin Ranch Banding Station

Operated in partnership with Chico Basin Ranch

Location: Research station at Chico Basin Ranch, 35 miles southeast of Colorado Springs, CO

Fall 2019 Dates: Sept 2 through Oct 4,  Monday through Saturday, 7 – 11:30am

Commonly-banded birds: Wilson’s Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Brown Thrasher, White-crowned Sparrow

Reservations required. Schedule visits, contact Chico Basin Ranch by email or phone: (719) 683-7960.

Grand Junction Banding Station

Location: Connected Lakes Section of the James M Robb Colorado River State Park

Fall 2019 Dates: Sep 16 through Oct 11 (closed weekends)

Commonly banded birds: Bushtit, Wilson’s Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow

To schedule a program/visit, contact: Cary Atwood, Grand Valley Audubon Society

Ridgway Banding Station

Operated in partnership with Black Canyon Audubon Society and Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Location: Ridgway State Park: 28555 US-550, Ridgway, CO

Fall 2019 dates: September 3-13 (closed weekends)

Commonly banded birds: Wilson’s Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow

Visit: To schedule a program, contact Ridgeway State Park via email.

Roger's Grove Banding Station

Roger’s Grove Banding Station

Location: Rogers Grove Park, City of Longmont: 220 Hover St., Longmont, CO 80501

Fall 2019 Dates: Every Tues and Thurs from Sept 3 through Oct. 10, EXCEPT Sept 24 and 26. Open from 7 – 11 a.m.

Commonly banded birds: this is a new banding station, we will have to wait and see!

2019 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Registration is not required for individuals. Pre-registration is required for groups over 10 people (max of 30). Click here to submit a reservation request.

To register as a group, contact Kelsey Mazur, Program & Volunteer Coordinator via email or by phone: (303) 659-4348 x10

Nebraska Banding Stations:

Chadron Banding Station

Location: Chadron State Park, 15951 Hwy. 385, Chadron, NE

Fall 2019 Dates: Aug 28 through Oct 11, open Tues-Sat.

Commonly banded birds: House Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, American Goldfinch

Visit: To schedule a program, contact Chaley Jensen via email or by phone: (308) 783-1019

Wildcat Hills Banding Station

Location: Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area, Gering, NE

Fall 2019 dates: Aug 28 through Oct 11, open Tues-Sat.

Commonly banded birds: Red Crossbill, Chipping Sparrow, Pine Siskin, Spotted Towhee

Visit: To schedule a program, contact Chaley Jensen via email or by phone: (308) 783-1019

North & South Dakota Banding Stations:

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Banding Station (N. Dakota)

Fall 2019 dates: This station will operate October 4-27. Closed on Wednesdays. Mist nets are set up at sunset and we band birds for approximately four hours.

Historically, this location tends to see many Northern Saw-whet Owls, which migrate through the region at this time of year.

Registration is required to visit this banding station. For more information or to make a reservation and, please contact Nancy Drilling via email.

Black Hills Banding Station (S. Dakota)

Fall 2019 dates: This station operates Sept 27 – Nov 8.  Mist nets are set up at sunset and we band birds for approximately four hours.

Historically, this location tends to see many Northern Saw-whet Owls, which migrate through the Black Hills of South Dakota at this time of year.

Registration is required to visit this banding station. For more information or to make a reservation and, please contact Nancy Drilling via email.

About Bird Banding

Bird banding has been used to study wild birds since the late 1800s. Data collected at banding stations have greatly increased our understanding of migratory routes and timings, species’ range limits, average lifespans, and how all these life-history characteristics may be changing over time.

Banding stations are placed in areas where birds congregate in large numbers during migration. These stopovers generally have excellent habitat that offers food and a safe place to rest. Scientists set up a series of mist nets to harmlessly trap birds. When a bird is removed from the net, its leg is fitted with a small metal band, and the bird is weighed and measured to evaluate its condition. Each band has a unique number on it so that if the bird is recaptured or found later, scientists will know when and where it was first banded.

Banding stations also serve as outdoor classrooms to enhance the public’s appreciation of birds and their habitats. The stations provide valuable opportunities for volunteers and students to gain experience in scientific field techniques.

In the last 30-plus years, the Bird Conservancy has banded more than 100,000 birds.

Read highlights from recent bird banding seasons on our blog.