Valuable research at Hawk Ridge is conducted through the banding
program. Staffed 24-hours a day from mid-August to late November,
the banding station at Hawk Ridge is one of the top few on the
continent in terms of total numbers of banded hawks and owls,
with an average of nearly 3,000 each season.
Our site contains a table of the Hawk Ridge
banding research totals, dating back from 1972. The seasonal
banding total for every species is listed.
Passerine BandingConcern over
declining populations of certain neotropical migrant passerines
(songbirds) has existed for over 2 decades. Researchers have
responded to this concern by monitoring neotropical passerine
populations using several different methods; point counts,
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)
routes, the Monitoring Avian Productivity and
Survivorship (MAPS) program, migration counts, radar studies,
migration banding, etc. Each method provides a unique data set and
can be used to better understand the causes of population declines
or natural fluctuations. For example, BBS routes can quantify
singing male passerines on a given route year after year. Migration
banding can help to quantify passerines for species that are often
overlooked due to inaccessibility within certain areas.
The Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve (HRNR) is
located at a natural concentration point for fall migrating birds,
and hence, offers a great opportunity to conduct migration research.
Passerines were sporadically banded between 1982-1992 at HRNR. This
work prompted the development of a full time Passerine Banding
Operation in 1996. The goals/objectives of this research
project are to monitor population trends, determine migrant phenology (timing of migration) for Northeastern Minnesota, collect
stopover site ecology information, and provide an educational
resource for the general public to learn more about birds and bird
Each season an average of nearly 4,000 passerines
There have been 102 passerine species banded at Hawk Ridge since