Bird Banding Workshop 2022

The 2022 Bird Banding Training Session is Closed

November 27 – December 3

The Workshop is Now Closed! We thank you for your interest. Please check back for workshops in 2023.

Osa Birds: Research and Conservation is pleased to offer our first bird banding training course this year.

The course is open to anyone interested in learning or perfecting banding skills from certified experienced NABC trained staff. Training takes place at the Cotinga Biological Station on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica during the start of the resident bird breeding season and the over-wintering period for passerine Neotropical migratory birds. The Osa Peninsula, located in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica, is renowned for its biological diversity and its more than 500 bird species which includes several regional endemics such as the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Mangrove Hummingbird and Yellow-billed Cotinga.  These birds (below) are some of the resident birds we captured during our 2021-2022 MoSI bird banding season.

A Snapshot of your Day

Mornings feature hands-on training in the field while afternoons are devoted to lectures, demonstrations, and in-depth instruction on various aspects of bird banding. General topics covered during the 6-day session include:

  • netting and trapping techniques,
  • removal of birds from mist nets,
  • proper handling and processing of birds (including biometrics, ageing and sexing, molt terminology, skulling), 
  • banders’ and professional ethics
  • tropical/neotropical bird found in the Osa region. 

The majority of our bird captures are Costa Rican full time resident birds with only a few scattered neotropical migratory birds. Many migrant birds are canopy dwellers and don’t generally make it down to our nets, but resident birds are abundant and never disappoint! Expect a lot of interesting local colorful birds that will knock your socks off! Our most abundant captures have been Orange-collared Manakins, Ochre-bellied Flycatchers, Red-capped Manakins and Wedge-billed Woodcreepers.

Your Trainer and our Partners

Our NABC (North American Banding Council) certified trainer is Holly Garrod! Holly has 11 years banding experience having banded over 15,000 birds and trained over 100 people to date throughout the Caribbean and Central America! Holly has worked with Osa Birds since 2020 training local community members to become certified banders at our two MoSI banding stations: Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre and Rancho Quemado. We are excited to bring her back for this training course and another year of MoSI. Holly is currently the avian ecologist for the University of Montana’s Bird Ecology Lab.

MoSI (Monitoreo de Supervivencia Invernal – Monitoring Overwinter Survival of Migratory Birds) is an Institute for Bird Populations program run throughout Latin America in conjunction with MAPS stations in the United States and Canada.

*This is not an NABC approved course however hours and experience accumulated can be useful for eventual NABC certification.


Your course is $1400 plus a suggested donation of $300. Your workshop includes instruction, food and lodging plus tax, and airport transfer to and from Puerto Jimenez to the Cotinga Biological Station. Domestic flights to and from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez are provided at an additional cost. The cost does not include international flights to/from Costa Rica. Optional tours are also available such as a local chocolate tour, night tour and birding outside the Cotinga station.

Full payment is due before October 15 unless other arrangements are made. Your payment is fully refundable if the participant cancels at least 30 days before the start of class. Payment is refundable minus a $50 administrative fee if the participant cancels within 30 days before the start of class.

How This Workshop Supports Osa Birds

This course also doubles as an annual fundraiser for Osa Birds. A suggested tax-deductible donation of $300 (or an amount of your choice) is requested for your attendance in the workshop. Your gift will pay local biologists, and fund our ongoing monitoring projects and MoSI banding stations. Our goal for this workshop is to provide quality instruction and an experience of a lifetime while supporting avian conservation work in Costa Rica. It is Osa Birds mission to protect birds and their habitats through research, education, and conservation initiatives. Please help support our efforts!

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to offer hands-on instruction in a safe way as it requires close contact, over-the-shoulder supervision, passing birds and tools back and forth. We are requiring all students and instructors in our courses and workshops to be fully vaccinated having received two regular doses approved for use in the US. Additional boosters are welcome. We are committed to the health and safety of our students, staff and local community. We thank you for your support and look forward to having you!

Costa Rica has lifted its mask mandates and entry requirements as they related to COVID. We will keep you up to date on any changes made by either the Costa Rican or US government as well as entry requirements for Costa Rica.

There are no current vaccines required for entry into Costa Rica, but we do recommend a current Tetanus vaccine.

How to Register

The Online form is no longer available. For additional information please contact [email protected] or [email protected]