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Advanced Bander Workshop

Guest Andrea Patterson

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Guest Andrea Patterson

Braddock Bay Bird Observatory's Advanced Banders’ Training Workshop has been rescheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday July 26 through the morning of Sunday July 30, 2017, and we have one opening remaining.


This workshop is aimed at banders who are currently involved with or who are considering opening MAPS stations, and at migration or project-based banders who desire a better grasp of molt and other aging techniques.


Mornings will feature hands-on training in the field at the Kaiser-Manitou Beach Banding Station located just northwest of Rochester, NY on the shore of Lake Ontario, with a possible option to spend one or two mornings at satellite MAPS stations in the area.  MAPS datasheets and protocol will be used on at least some mornings.

Afternoons will be devoted to lectures, demonstrations and in-depth instruction on various aspects of bird banding including:

  • Aging birds, especially by skull, plumage characteristics, and molt
  • Passerine and near-passerine molt sequences and strategies, including a lecture specifically on woodpecker molt sequences
  • Discussions of all aspects of the MAPS datasheet, including accurately coding feather tracts as to their plumage generation; locating molt limits; recognizing and scoring cloacal protuberances and brood patches; assessing body molt, flight feather molt, and flight feather wear; and quantifying the extent of skull development.
  • A comparison of the traditional calendar-based age classification system with the newer Wolfe-Ryder-Pyle cycle-based age classification system
  • Keeping a daily breeding status list detailing all birds seen and heard in the study area, complete with notations as to any behavior related to breeding.

The course has been approved by the North American Banding Council, uses training manuals produced by the NABC and is taught by NABC-certified Trainers.  Participants will receive a certificate of participation from the NABC upon successful completion of the course.  The five-day course is timed to coincide with the peak of juvenile fledging and dispersal as well as with the onset of adult molt, which challenges students to employ all calendar-based age classifications (HY, SY, AHY, ASY, and U) at once. As this is an advanced workshop, we suggest that workshop participants have prior mist-netting and banding/processing experience of at least 200 birds.


The cost of the course is $250.00 ($225.00 plus a $25 registration fee), which includes the cost of housing and materials. Meals in the area are the students’ responsibility. If you can provide your own housing, the cost of the course will be reduced by $50.


For additional information about the Banders’ Training Course please contact Andrea Patterson or visit our website.

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