The banding station is operated entirely by volunteers who band, serve as guides for visitors and present educational programs for various groups. Although Sand Bluff is primarily a research facility, visitors are always welcome to come watch our operation and share in the learning process.
Whether it’s a House Wren or a Red-tailed-Hawk, the experience of seeing, in hand, the birds that share our planet will long stay in the memory.
While there is not a fee to visit us during banding days, we do appreciate donations. Financial support comes entirely from the donations of individuals and organizations.
Come see us soon!
When to visit: Morning is best. Really! Birds are most active in the morning and on cloudy days. Fewer birds are caught at mid-day.
Rain or shine: Yes! Overcast days can be very good banding days. The bird observatory is open all weekend, except during constant, heavy rains.
What to wear: Hats, closed shoes, long pants and shirts with long sleeves are recommended – even in hot weather.
Insects: Mosquitos and ticks are often present and very active so use of insect repellent is recommended.
Access to the nets: Only with a certified SBBO staff member are visitors allowed to walk along the nets during banding periods.
Pets: Leashed pets are permitted in the forest preserve, but pets are not permitted in the building or near the nets.
For active visitors: A scenic loop includes a hike through an oak savanna to the sand bluff overlooking the Sugar River.
For less active visitors: A path runs along one of the net runs. The banding facility and the restrooms are handicapped accessible and close to parking.
Nearby facilities: Campsites are two miles away at Sugar River Forest Preserve. Canoeists can put in on the Sugar River in Wisconsin for a trip to Colored Sands or Sugar River Forest Preserves.
Photography: By all means photograph the birds during banding! Just no flash photograph.
Large Group or Field Trip: Visit this page and fill out the form at the bottom to fill out your request to visit with a large group (10+) or during the week. We love to host school field trips and other groups at SBBO.