BBMA VI Application Open!!

Apply Now, Until October 20th


VI Bird banding and molt analysis course

refúgio Guajiro natural reserve, Guajira, Colombia

The sixth Bird Banding and Molt Analysis course (VI BBMA) will take place December 15-21 at the Refugio Guajiro Natural Reserve, 40 km from the city of Riohacha, Colombia, on the Caribbean coast and in the Guajira/Barranquilla xeric scrub region. The initiative is sponsored by SELVA and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), with support from the Costa Rica Bird Observatories (CRBO), CORBIDI, Humboldt State University, and the US National Audubon Society. Motivated by the growing number of bird banders in Latin America and by the potential of molt-based aging systems for improving banding data quality, we aim to 1) promote the best possible command of basic banding skills while analyzing molt cycles and ageing of forest understory birds in the Guajira region; and 2) contribute to the formation of open-minded, field-tested, professional banders that will apply their skills in the Guajira region or anywhere else in the world.

The course syllabus is geared towards active bird banders, but we welcome applicants from any background, country, and level of expertise. Banding instructors Nick Bayly (SELVA-Colombia), Pablo Elizondo (CRBO-Costa Rica), Diego Garcia (CORBIDI-Peru), Camila Gomez (SELVA-Colombia), and Erik Johnson (Audubon-US) are all certified by the North American Banding Council and have jointly banded more than 80,000 birds. The team, headed by Camila Gomez and Gonçalo Ferraz (UFRGS-Brazil), has profound knowledge of the South American avifauna and includes ornithologists with years of research experience in the Guajira region. This edition of the BBMA course will be bilingual, with classes taught in Spanish and English; nonetheless, the content is accessible to anyone who can communicate in English, Spanish, or Portuguse.

In order to cover logistics expenses we will charge a registration fee of US$300 per student. The fees cover all expenses with food, transportation and accommodation for the duration of the course. Application is free and we will have financial support for applicants selected on the basis of their merit and access to funds. Please do go ahead and apply even if you can’t afford to pay. If that is the case, state in your application letter that you need financial support. The course will enroll 20 students.

HOW TO APPLY: Click here and use the application form link to send us a CV and short letter (in portuguese, english, or spanish) describing former banding experience and explaining why this course is relevant to you. If you need financial support, please indicate so in your letter. Application deadline is October 20th. We will review applications promptly and get back to you no later than Wednesday, October 25th. If you have any questions, please write to Gonçalo Ferraz at We look forward to meeting you in Riohacha!


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