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 entiely 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!

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