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  • 8-Month Bird Banding Position: Spring-Fall 2024

    Nick Liadis
    • Employer: Bird Lab
      Location: Pittsburgh/Southwestern Pennsylvania
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2024
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Description

    Bird Lab is seeking an experienced Bird Bander to assist with avian research in southwestern Pennsylvania from 3/26/2024 to 11/26/2024 across multiple banding projects. The operation is based in Pittsburgh, and the primary duty of this position is banding birds with mist nets in spring, summer, and fall.

    Spring and Fall: There are three migration-focused banding sites defined by various levels of human disturbance (urban, suburban, and rural). Each site is visited twice per week and has 12 nets; there are high-volume days at each of them. In late fall, Northern Saw-whet Owl banding will be the primary duty, and the successful candidate will run the owl banding project.

    Summer: In summer, there will be three MAPS stations, two of which are part of a collaborative effort between Bird Lab and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. One location has hosted breeding Swainson’s Warblers. The bander will also conduct point counts.

    Across all three Seasons: The bander will assist in tracking phenological changes in certain plants around the study sites and contribute to the creation of engaging social media posts.

    The position affords the candidate an excellent opportunity to work alongside a North American Banding Council (NABC) certified Trainer in various regional ecosystems across multiple seasons, creating a unique experience with migratory birds in the Eastern US. Check out birdlab.org for more information about the banding program and the organization.


    A strong candidate will be able to:

    • Carry a 35 lb pack to the banding station and set up mist nets on each banding day
    • Hike/walk 6-10 mi/day in hilly (sometimes muddy) terrain during a 5-hour banding day
    • Extract and band birds (including identifying age and sex)
    • Work outside, sometimes in uncomfortable or inclement weather (hot, cold, rain)
    • Assist with banding demos
    • Participate in related duties such as veg trimming and plant surveying
    • Enter and proof data
    • Repair nets
    • Work independently and as part of a team

    Ideal candidates will have:

    • A minimum BA or BS in biology, environmental studies, or a related field
    • At least two seasons of banding experience
    • Possession of the NABC certification (bander level preferred)
    • Experience and knowledge to identify, age, and sex most commonly occurring passerines found in the eastern United States


    Pay is $725 per week working 4-6 days per week depending on the season. Nets are opened at sunrise and operated for 5 hours, weather-dependent. Arrival at the sites varies but will be in advance of sunrise to allow for banding table and net setup.

    For non-local candidates, housing in the city of Pittsburgh can be provided at no cost, or a $650/month housing stipend can be added to the salary. The bander will need their vehicle to reach the sites most days, but carpooling will be possible as well. Mileage will be reimbursed.

    To apply

    Please email the following in one PDF to Nick Liadis at tweet@birdlab.org:

    • CV/resume
    • Three references including email, phone number, and title
    • Cover letter detailing your experience banding birds

    Other info

    The position will be open until filled. 

    Employment is contingent upon completion of a successful background check and establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

    Bird Lab does not discriminate in employment on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and/or local laws.

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