Saw-Whet Owl Banding Behind the Scenes Night

Explore up close, the magic of owl migration with a special behind-the-scenes opportunity offered only a few nights a year.

Indiana Audubon, in partnership with the Indiana Dunes National and State Park and Indiana Dunes Tourism as they bring the 13th season of saw-whet owl banding to the Indiana Dunes. On select nights, visitors can volunteer with the banding staff to learn more about the research and banding process. Participants must travel in their own vehicle in 2021, approximately 10 miles round trip each hour.

Participants will get the chance to see captured owls being banded outdoors at the banding field station during hourly checks. Participants can stay as long as they like, as volunteers do a minimum of three checks each night. Nightly programs are weather-dependent and do not operate when rainy or high winds. Canceled nights can be rescheduled for any remaining season night.

The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is located at 1215 North State Road 49, about one mile north of I-94 in Chesterton. All times are Central (Chicago) Time.

To comply with CDC recommendations, all owl banding demonstrations and behind the scenes, this fall will have the following restrictions:

  • NOTE: All Behind the Scenes owl banding participants are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. This is to ensure the safety of our volunteers while in close contact. Please bring documentation to your reserved date.
  • All owl banding observers must pre-register in advance for upcoming banding nights
  • All owl banding Behind the Scenes nights are limited to 6 participants
  • All participants are required to utilize facial covering and/or social distancing

All banding will take place outside the Visitor Center. Participants should bring a lawn chair, dress for cooler weather, and bring any snacks or drinks. A campfire may be available most nights.

All participants must read and agree to the IAS Field Trip Release to participate in IAS-led events and trips. Behind the Scenes, fees are donated towards the Project Owlnet research with Indiana Audubon. Adult registration rate is $45, Children (ages 8-17) rate is $30. Behind the Scenes are not available for youth under 8 years of age.

Dates: October 28 - October 30, 2021
Time: Check website for times
Address: 1215 N State Road 49, Porter, IN 46304
Phone: (219) 926-1390

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