We study common terns (Sterna hirundo) at a long‐term study population located in the Banter See at Wilhelmshaven on the German North Sea coast. Since 1992, all locally hatched birds have been marked with a transponder shortly prior to fledging and we use antennae at resting places and around nests to identify both breeding and non‐breeding individuals. Combined with 3‐times‐weekly checks of nests to record reproductive parameters and to mark offspring, our methods enable the systematic and remote documentation of individual presence and reproductive performance at the colony. Once birds have established themselves as Banter See breeders, their re‐sighting probability is almost 100% and their return rate is 90%, such that we can collect data over long individual life cycles.
For the upcoming breeding season, we are looking for highly motivated students and/or volunteers who can start c. end of April 2020 and who would like to gain experience using several fieldwork methods across different research topics. The students/volunteers will participate in the general monitoring of the breeding population, as well as in research projects. For instance, the volunteer can be involved in (i) behavioural observations, (ii) reproductive checks, (iii) blood sampling, (iv) ring reading and (v) general colony maintenance. The fieldwork is intense and will require patience, but is shared within a team and will involve many close interactions with the birds. Prior experience with birds or fieldwork is appreciated, but not required. Crucial, however, is that the volunteer enjoys working in an international team and is happy to use English as the main working language.
More information on the specific projects on offer can be found here: https://www.ifv-vogelwarte.de/en/home-ifv/jobs.html