A Tribute to Our Metro Denver Banding Station Volunteers

Our Barr Lake (fall) and Chatfield (spring) banding stations are complex operations.

They open early every morning—six days a week—over five weeks during spring migration and nine weeks in the fall. Approximately 20 nets are checked every half hour and the captured birds carefully and safely removed. The birds are brought to the station to have species, age and sex determined, measurements taken, amount of fat estimated, leg band attached, etc. Birds are released within an hour of the time they were caught. But that’s not all! We also host groups of visitors—students of all ages during the week, families on weekends—wanting to learn about birds and see them up close. In recent years, we’ve added additional tasks, like collecting feather samples that are used by researchers to study bird migration and inform conservation.

Some of our outstanding volunteers, showing off the t-shirts awarded for their dedication during the time of COVID-19

How do we accomplish all this with just two staff—one bander and one educator?  The answer is we don’t.

We are able to do all this because we have what may be one of the world’s best volunteer crews.  Four to six volunteers join our two staff people each day to execute the various tasks necessary to run an efficient, effective and safe banding and education program.  They arrive at the station at sunrise to open nets and don’t leave until about 12:30, after all birds are processed and the last net is closed. Depending on skill and experience, volunteers process birds, record data, remove birds from the nets, educate visitors, take photos, chase away raptors and racoons, replace nets destroyed by deer, and trim branches to keep net lanes clear. Perhaps most importantly, they keep everyone sane with their good humor.

Their flexibility, creativity and resilience were particularly valuable during the COVID-19 crisis.  Providing group activities—even outdoors—posed significant challenges. Our volunteers helped us modify our protocols and programs to meet health and safety requirements. Incredibly, with the the exception of spring 2020, we were able to run almost normal banding operations and continue our education programs through a mix of very small group and virtual education programs.

As of 2022, we have 35 banding station volunteers that range in age from 12 to over 80.  Some of them started in the last year or so; a few have been with us for over a decade— and one for more than 25 years!

2021 Volunteers

A heartfelt thank you to the following regular volunteers who donated their valuable time in support of Bird Conservancy in 2021!

Richard Abbott
Terri Allen
Gretchen Baker
Anne Barela
Cynde Barnes
Crystal Beckel
Isaac Becker
Troy Becker
Stephanie Blochowiak
Camille Blose
Jennifer Bohn
Lori Bollendonk
Adaline Borg
Mary Boswell
Ammon Braithwaite
Jared Branson
Glenda Brown
Joy Bryant
Nolan Bunting
Nicole Buyck
Dale Campau
Ardeth Carlson
Page and Cairn Carr
Karen Case
Kirstin Chapman
Charlie Chase
Karen Chavez
Kiley Chernicky
Alexandria Colpitts
Joyce Commercon
Shannon Curtis
Megan Daiger
Leah Dempsey
Virginia Dickinson
Adam Dillon
Grace Dougan
Christy Dowling

Linda Drees
Mark Dymerski
Hailey Edmondson
Paulina Erices
Terry Escamilla
Donna Feldman
Raymond Fetherman
Dani Flores
Emily Ford
Curtis Frankenfeld
Christopher Friedman
Cathy Frost
Katherine Frost
Betty George
Mary Getzinger
Grant Gitschier
Katharine Goldthwait
Adam Green
Marlena Greene
Melissa Greulich (Belmar)
Brielyn Griffeth
Jennifer Griffin
Jane Haddock
Renée Haip
Tony Hake
Alison Hazel
August Hazel
Cliff Hendrick
Mindy Hetrick
Suzy Hiskey
Jill Holden
Randall How
Diane Hutton
Barbara Hyink
Heather Jackson
Carrie Jantz
Mikayla Johnson

Dale Jones
Megan Jones Patterson
Tom Kajiwara
Angela Kantola
Josie Kerrigan
Vicki Knecht
Joseph Kolesar
John Koss
Louise Koss
Roberta Laluna
Lauren LaPointe
Parker Larsen
Sierra Larson
Kara Laszczyk
Julia Laurenzi
James Skip Link
Rebecca LiPuma
James Lonski
Jessica Luiz
Jane Maczuzak
John Malenich
Brynn Manzella
Gary Mattes
Kylie Mattes
Casey Iris McCarthy
Cynthia Miller
John Miller
Lucinda Miller
Michelle Morton
Rodrigo Nascimento
Cacie Nickolaus
David Nickolaus
Volunteers One-Time
Pru Pande
Barbara Patterson
Ted Peterson
Kathleen Pierz

Julia Piotti
John Pumfrey
Cheryl Raney
Jennie Ratico
Ian Redfield
Jennifer Redmond
Kate Rentschlar
Harry Rose
Susan Rosine
Tait Rutherford
Ginny Sednek
Elijah Seegrist
Jennifer Small
Emily Snode-Brenneman
Barbra Sobhani
Tim Sontag
Doug Swartz
Steven Szulkowski
Lin Szydlo
Santiago Tabares Erices
Eric Tokuyama
Amber Tyler
Karen Uyeda
Lois Vanek
Julie Vannoy
Sheila Webber
Diane White
E. Anne Whitehurst
Jen Williams
Tom Williams
Hanna Wilson
James Wilson
Zachariah Wilson
Joshua Wise
George Woolsey
Jan Zinkl