Specially trained volunteers sit in small blinds in the hills of the Headlands, trapping and banding raptors and taking measurements and health data. Banded hawks subsequently encountered by humans are (hopefully) reported to the US Bird Banding Laboratory by the finder, and we receive a report of where the bird was found and what the circumstances were. Banding recoveries help us answer questions about raptor movement and ranges, as well as insight into causes of raptor injuries and deaths.
Becoming a GGRO bander is a big commitment—there are rigorous trainings and workdays in preparation for the migration season. Trainings occur on weeknights and weekends in July and into the beginning of August. Bander field days generally start at 7:45 am and last sometimes until the evening, depending on weather and bird activity. Volunteers must be able to commit to one regular field day every two weeks between mid-August through early December; all training is provided; banders must be 18 years or older. Volunteer activities take place in the Marin Headlands. Please contact us for more information!