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  • Ontario Forest Bird Biologist

    Birds Canada 2023
    • Employer: Birds Canada
      Location: Port Rowan, Ontario
      Country: Canada
      Last Date to Apply: 10/18/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    About Birds Canada

    Birds Canada is the country’s premier national organization dedicated to bird conservation. Every day, our thousands of caring donors, 80+ passionate staff, and 70,000+ outstanding volunteers are taking action to help us better understand, appreciate, and conserve birds and their habitats. Together, we are Canada’s voice for birds. Our national headquarters is located in Port Rowan, Ontario, connected to the historic Long Point Bird Observatory, with regional offices from coast to coast.

    About the Role 

    The Ontario Forest Bird Biologist will take a leadership role in shaping the direction, implementation and conservation impact of the Forest Bird Program in Ontario. The Forest Bird Program includes scientific research and applied conservation methods, to fill information gaps, address threats, build partnerships and implement management strategies that benefit the recovery of forest bird species at risk and their local habitats. This successful candidate will represent Birds Canada on a number of local to international scientific tables and working groups, as well as managing a number of diverse partnerships, including those with local communities of landowners, industry partners, conservation authorities and government agencies.  This is a full-time position reporting to the Director, Ontario Programs.

    Compensation and Benefits

    Birds Canada offers a competitive compensation package, including an above-average array of primarily employer-funded extended benefits (including Health and Dental Coverage, Short- and Long-Term Disability, RRSP Matching after 12 months’ employment, 12 personal health days per year, 15 Vacation days to start moving to 20 days as of 2024, and more!).  Start date is as soon as possible, therefore applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

    Starting salary: $65,827 – $73,436 CAD

    Location: preference for candidate to be based in or within 1h commuting distance to the Birds Canada Headquarters in Port Rowan, but flexible arrangements can be negotiated for the ideal candidate.


    • Scientific direction and operational leadership of the Ontario Forest Birds at Risk Program (OFBAR) and the Forest Bird Monitoring Program (FBMP).
    • Lead the coordination and management of all program activities, including survey schedule and deliverables for field staff and contractors.
    • Supervise and mentor junior staff throughout the year, including peak survey season.
    • In close collaboration and with input/guidance from landowner partners, lead the design, implementation, and impact evaluation of beneficial management practices.
    • Dedicate significant time to building and maintaining strong and authentic relationships with a number of program partners - notably Indigenous communities and other local private and public landowners, associations, forest industry actors, conservation authorities, conservation organisations, government agencies, etc.
    • Lead all aspects of experimental design, analysis, or other technical aspects within OFBAR Program and FBMP, and support/advise on other ON programs or partner projects, where requested.
    • Provide comprehensive descriptions, analyses and program result summaries for funder and partner annual reports in an efficient, timely and coordinated manner.
    • Lead on survey design, subject-matter expertise, scientific relevance and connecting program activities to larger species-at-risk policy and projects for grant proposals and future projects
    • Develop budgets and ensure timely and accurate financial management and reporting
    • Act as the key spokesperson for the Ontario Forest Birds Program at Birds Canada, including giving presentations, attending meetings, conducting interviews, writing articles and participating in a number of scientific tables and events relevant to the subject matter.
    • Ensure program obtains and complies with environmental approvals/permits for program activities from government/regulatory agencies (municipal, provincial and federal).

    Experience, Knowledge & Skills:

    • Excellent knowledge and understanding of Ontario’s forest birds, including identification by sight and sound, life history, and habitat requirements.
    • Strong understanding of forest ecology and how forest management and stewardship practices and/or forest health risks (e.g., tree diseases, invasive species) impact bird species and communities.
    • Familiarity with relevant legislation and policies, incentives, and certifications in Ontario, including but not limited to those pertaining to species at risk, private woodlot activities, and forest management practices at federal, provincial, and local levels.
    • Experience in reviewing scientific literature, research question development, protocol design, and project implementation; knowledge of best practices for monitoring forest birds and their habitats.
    • Experience with geographic information systems (ArcGIS) and data management.
    • Demonstrated expertise in data management and statistical analyses (i.e. developing and using occupancy models, generalized linear models, species distribution models, and/or hierarchical models in frequentist or Bayesian frameworks), preferably using R.
    • Strong organizational and project management skills with the ability to initiate and complete deliverables with high-quality outputs by required deadlines.
    • Excellent written communication skills with demonstrated ability to write scientific and technical reports and plain language documents for a variety of audiences.
    • Comfortable presenting to a diversity of stakeholders in small to large groups, either virtually or in-person.
    • Experience effectively mentoring junior staff and/or contractors.
    • Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to develop and maintain effective co-operative working relationships with a variety of groups, colleagues and managers.
    • Experience working with public and private landowners to achieve on the ground conservation objectives.
    • Experience fundraising (writing grant proposals, building relationships with donors) and managing budgets is a highly-valued asset.


    Graduate degree (MSc or PhD) from a recognized university in biology, ecology, resource management, or other environmental science field relevant to the position. An equivalent combination of education, technical training and experience may be considered.

    Other Conditions of Employment:

    • Legally entitled to work in Canada
    • Possess a valid Ontario Class G driver’s licence, with a clean driving record
    • Expected to work from either the office in Port Rowan or be in the field during the monitoring season (early Apr – end Aug), with flexibility to work remotely during the off-season (Sept-Mar)
    • May be required to work long or untraditional hours during the fields season, including weekends, statutory holidays and/or provincial holidays, as needed.
    • Willing to work and travel in a variety of terrains and conditions in the performance of the duties, including field work in adverse weather where necessary.



    Please email a cover letter and resume in a single document, not exceeding 4 pages, to the Director, Ontario Programs, Laura Irvine (lirvine@birdscanada.org). In your cover letter, please explicitly highlight relevant qualifications and skills. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, with intention to hire as soon as possible. While Birds Canada welcomes all applications, only those applicants who are selected for an interview will be contacted. Birds Canada will provide accommodation throughout the recruitment, selection, and/or assessment process to applicants with disabilities.

    Birds Canada is committed to improving levels of diversity among its volunteers, membership, staff, and board that reflects the diversity of communities across the country. In an effort to do so, we are actively seeking to improve our ability to reach all candidates with our job postings. Applicants belonging to racialized groups, who identify as Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+, or who have differing abilities are therefore welcome to self-identify in their cover letter, if they feel comfortable, although this is not a requirement.


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