GMU-SI Bird Course

a woman holds a bird in her hand as others look on

Please note: This course is not currently being offered due to COVID-19 precautions.

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation is a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Led by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, this course teaches the most current methods in the research of migratory birds, including theoretical concepts, field and laboratory methods (e.g. mist-netting, banding, tissue sampling, stable isotope geochemistry, geolocators and radio telemetry), data analysis (including distance sampling and mark-recapture statistics) and applied conservation strategies.

Participants mist-net and handle wild birds nearly every morning of the course, and learn to prepare museum voucher study skins. Some scholarships are available for international applicants. General information about the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation can be found at Questions can be sent to