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    Banding Technician Internship

    • Employer: Wild Bird Research Group
      Location: Costa Rica
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 11/15/2019
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    The Wild Bird Research Group, Inc., is seeking applicants for our banding technician internship at the Nicoya Peninsula Avian Research Station in northwestern Costa Rica from December 2019 to January 2020.  The research is aimed toward the study of molt and aging criteria in Costa Rican resident bird species, and collection of data from wintering Nearctic-Neotropical migrants for the Institute for Bird Populations’ MoSI Program.  Winter participants will aid in the operation of several bird banding sites on the Nicoya Peninsula. These positions are opportunities for college students and graduates to visit one of the most biodiverse countries in the Americas, participate in a tropical bird banding operation, and contribute to an international effort to study declining migratory songbirds.

    NPARS has banding stations Cabo Blanco National Park near Cabuya, the estuary of the Rio Panica near Tambor, and at our headquarters and residence at Finca Pura Vida near Cobano.  Habitats within the banding sites include pacific coastal mangrove forest, second-growth humid forest, and mature humid forest. Commonly occurring species within these habitats include migrants such as Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Tennessee Warbler, and residents such as Mangrove Vireo, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Long-tailed Manakin, twelve species of hummingbirds, a variety of woodcreeper species, and many others.

    The banding stations are operated from 6:00am – 12:00pm for three consecutive days each week.  Responsibilities during banding days will include station setup and takedown (including mist nets), mist net extraction, handling and banding of captured birds, collection of relevant measurements and data, and other responsibilities associated with banding station operation.  Some non-banding days will involve data computerization, equipment organization and maintenance, and washing bird holding bags, in addition to duties related to general household cleanliness and functionality. During non-banding days we will have the opportunity to travel to visit nearby towns, preserves, and beaches, including renowned birding hotspots such as San Gerardo de Dota and Carara National Park.  

    Winter participants will live at Finca Pura Vida, a 6-hectare villa near the town of Cobano.  Painted Buntings, Long-tailed Manakins, Summer Tanagers, Turquoise-browed Motmots, and many other species are commonly seen on the grounds.  A hummingbird banding operation is conducted on the Finca; ten hummingbird species are regularly banded here, including Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn to process and band a variety of hummingbird species.

    Dates & Costs:

    Costs associated with food, housing, ground transportation, and park entrance fees will be covered by the Wild Bird Research Group.  THE COST OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WILL NOT BE COVERED; participants will be responsible for their own international travel arrangements.  It also does not cover costs associated with recreational activities, restaurant dining, recreational travel, and other non-essential expenses.  The internship will run from mid December to mid January (exact dates TBD).


    Applicants must have a strong interest in birds and nature, and preferably be experienced in identifying birds in the field.  Mist-netting and banding experience is desired, but not necessary. Applicants should be prepared for early mornings and long days. S/he should have the ability to work as a functional part of a team, and work flexible hours in field.

    To Apply: 

    E-mail a resume and cover letter to Sean Graesser (gourmetbiologist@gmail.com).  Resumes should include any previous field experience, educational background, and current contact information.

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