Iona Island Bird Observatory seeks Bander-in-Charge for Western Sandpiper movement ecology project
WildResearch is seeking a Bander-in-Charge (BIC) to capture and band shorebirds, as well as deploy radio telemetry nanotags during spring and fall migration at Iona Island Bird Observatory (IIBO)!
This project is in collaboration with university and government researchers to assess stopover condition and movement ecology of Western Sandpipers (WESA). The BIC will be working with a small team of intermediate to experienced volunteers to deploy ~50 nanotags during spring and fall migration. The BIC will band each individual, measure morphology and body condition traits, and collect fecal samples when possible. The BIC will also work with a PhD student to take blood samples from a subset of WESA that are not fitted with a nanotag. Captures will take place over three sessions during late April, mid-July, and mid-August. Each session will involve 4 consecutive capture events. A capture event will last ~7 hours over-night, starting a couple hours prior to high tide and lasting for a few hours after. The BIC must therefore be experienced with targeted shorebird mist-netting at night and prepared to work long, late hours for several consecutive days. In addition to WESA captures, the BIC will have the option to perform standardized shorebird counts every two days during spring migration and weekly during fall migration. An advanced ability to identify all western North American shorebirds by sight and sound is therefore a bonus.
Daily operations will involve working with volunteers of intermediate experience; therefore, the BIC must be comfortable organizing and providing necessary instructions and training to small groups of volunteers. The BIC will also be responsible for equipment organization/maintenance, complete and accurate data collection, and communicating regularly with the Shorebird Operations Committee to organize volunteer shifts, resolve logistical issues, and submit data as it is collected. Finally, the BIC will contribute their time to writing a short, monthly field summary to include in our newsletters and participate in community outreach, including interacting with the public by giving a seminar at the end of the season.
Candidates will hold or be qualified for a Canadian Bird Banding Permit, be able to identify western North American shorebird species, and have experience with targeted shorebird captures at night, banding high volumes of shorebirds, successfully deploying nanotags, and collecting fecal samples. In addition, successful candidates will have demonstrable experience leading a field team, training volunteers, and communicating research to the public.
This is a part-time position. Capture periods will occur during the weeks of: 1) April 19th, 2) July 19th, and 3) August 23rd. Average length of a capture night is ~7 hours in the field. However, this may vary with weather and bird capture rates. Pay rate is $390 per capture day for a maximum of $4680 over the length of the contract. Shorebird surveys will occur every second day from April 15th to May 10th, and weekly during July and August. Surveys take approximately 2 hours. Pay rate is $125 per survey for a maximum of $2750 (22 surveys). An additional one-time honorarium of $100 is available for giving a public seminar after the field season. The BIC must provide their own vehicle and housing.
How to Apply: Please send a brief cover letter, CV including details on number of shorebirds banded, and two references in one file, to email@example.com. Subject line "IIBO Shorebird BIC Position" by March 28, 2021.