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  • Lead Bander for Spring Migration in Southern Utah

    Kyle Kittelberger
    • Employer: University of Utah
      Location: Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa near Moab, Utah
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/21/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Dates: April 8 – June 11

    Where: Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa, Moab, Utah

    Work Schedule: ~7 hours/day, 10 days on 2 days off

    Salary: $3500

    We're looking for an experienced lead bird bander to head up a team with two volunteers. You will be working at the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa near Moab, Utah. This beautiful riparian habitat provides critical resources to migratory birds, amidst the desert of the Colorado Plateau. The station has banded over 18,000 birds so far of 131 species, including Lucy’s Warbler, Willow Flycatcher, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Wren, Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow, Gray Vireo, and much more.

    The position runs from approximately April 8th through the second weekend of June, encompassing the entirety of spring bird migration. The banding team is required to work 10 days on and 2 days off. Nets are opened from a half hour before dawn for six hours a day. In addition to the banding you will be responsible for providing training and guidance for the two volunteers, tours to visiting groups, entering and proofing the data, and writing weekly banding reports. In your free time you can explore the fantastic Red Rock Country of southern Utah, go rafting on the Dolores River, etc.

    Desired experience:

    The bander must have experience of banding, ageing and sexing high volumes of birds, including being proficient with assessing molt in birds and using WRP codes. The bander should be comfortable identifying birds to species that occur in the region, as well as running nets in temperatures characteristic of southern Utah from April to June. Experience with fitting MOTUS nanotags to birds is a plus, as we are planning to tag birds this spring for the MOTUS project.

    Additionally, the bander must be able to lead their team and train the assistants in these practices, as well as work and live well with the same small number of people for an entire season. They should be able to talk confidently to visitors about the process of banding and why it is important. Enthusiasm is a must! Comfortability operating in a remote field station setting with basic wi-fi, no cell service, and a 1.5 hour distance from the closest town are also key.


    Please email your interest and experience plus a [banding] resume to kyle.kittelberger@utah.edu.


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