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:

Barr Lake Banding Station

Location: Barr Lake State Park, 13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton, CO 80603

This station operates in the fall season only.

Fall 2021 dates of operation: Open to the public August 24th through October 23rd, six days a week (closed Mondays).

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

CLICK HERE to read the Barr Lake Banding Station 2019 report.

Registration is required for all individuals and groups of no more than 12 people. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A PROGRAM.

Please contact Skye Newman, Education Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] to schedule your visit or for more information.

Individual and Group Programs are offered at $6/visitor per hour at the Barr Lake Banding Station.

Weekday programs available from 7:30 – 8:30am, and weekend programs are available from 8-9am, 9-10am, and 10-11am.

School programs are available Tuesday through Friday, 9am-12pm or 9:30-12pm (10am-12pm available in October ONLY) and are $7/student (max of 60 students). For more information and to schedule your school program, please contact us.

If you are unable to pay for your program, scholarships are available. For availability and to schedule, please contact us!

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.

Spring 2022 dates of operation: Open April 23 through May 29 (closed Mondays).

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

Visit: Registration is required for all visitors. To make a reservation for individuals, please visit On weekdays we will be limited to a one-hour timeslot from 7:30-8:30 a.m. On weekends there will be 3 timeslots, hourly beginning at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The fee is $6/participant. Groups will be limited to 15 people and all participants are required to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

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

Chico Basin Ranch Banding Station

This station operates in the spring and fall seasons.

Spring 2022 dates of operation: Open April 25 through May 27, 6 days a week. (closed Sundays)

Fall 2022 dates of operation: TBD. Please check back soon for Fall 2022 dates.

Operated in partnership with Chico Basin Ranch

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

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

Reservations required for groups. To schedule group visits, contact Chico Basin Ranch by email or phone: (719) 683-7960.  The ranch and banding station are now open to the public (ranch access fee of $15, payable at ranch HQ).

Grand Junction Banding Station

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

Fall 2021 Dates: Open September 20th through October 15th, Monday through Friday

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 2021 Dates: Open September 6th through September 17th, Monday through Friday

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.

Nebraska Banding Stations:

Chadron Banding Station

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

Fall 2021 Dates: Open August 25th through October 8th, Tuesday through Saturday

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

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

Wildcat Hills Banding Station

Location: Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area, Gering, NE

Fall 2021 Dates: Open August 25th through October 8th, Tuesday through Saturday.

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

Visit: To schedule a program, contact Delanie Bruce via email or by phone: (308) 633-1013

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.