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  • Lead Bird Bander

    Guest Sarah Milligan
    • Employer: Bandelier National Monument
      Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/28/2022
      Open Until Filled: No


    Bandelier National Monument is seeking applicants for a six-month biological science internship. The selected candidate’s primary responsibility will be to serve as the lead bird bander for the park’s 2022 bird banding program, one of a number of long-term research and monitoring programs at the Monument. The lead bird bander will be part of a four-person bird banding crew consisting of an international intern, a seasoned volunteer, and a National Park Service employee. Our bird banding program includes both Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) and migratory banding stations which have been monitored for 18 years. During the summer season (May-July), the bird banding crew will monitor and track nesting passerines at four MAPS sites at different locations in the park. During Fall Migration (August-mid-October), the crew will work with volunteers and school groups to track migrating passerines. A key part of our bird banding program is educating under-served school children about the bird banding process, with an emphasis on the biology of birds and potential influences from warming climates.  The selected applicant will be involved in creating a 45-minute bird banding presentation to deliver to approximately 20 different 4th-6th grade classes. These programs will take place in September during which the schools will also visit the banding site to see the scientists and interns in action.  The intern will be required to enter all banding data into MAPSProg and Bandit as well as tracking trends in an Excel spreadsheet. There is a possibility of an extension for interested applicants to analyze multiple years of data.

    The secondary responsibilities of this position will be to provide general support to Bandelier’s Natural Resources Program which may include: conducting avian point counts; monitoring Peregrine Falcon nests; assisting with bat surveys; leading birding walks for visitors; assisting with vegetation plots; assisting with T&E (Mexican Spotted Owl, Jemez Mountains Salamander, New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse) species surveys; assisting in the planting, salvaging, and caring of native plants; assisting in the mapping and control of exotic plants; assisting with acoustic data collection; and entering data into databases including eBird.  Much of the above-mentioned work will be performed outdoors and may require walking or hiking over rugged terrain and working outdoors in both hot and cold weather.



    US Citizens Only.  Please ONLY apply if you have banded for 2 or more seasons, have banded over 1000 birds total, and have banded in the west.

    Recruiting a highly-qualified intern to support the Bandelier’s bird banding program and Natural Resources Program is essential to our success. Applicants must be able to obtain, at a minimum, a sub-permit from the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) for the Southwest region. Applicants must be skilled in all aspects of bird banding including: setting up mist nets; removing birds from the nets; banding birds; identifying, sexing, and aging birds, collecting information on bird’s body condition and reproductive status; and properly releasing the bird without harm. Applicant must be able to perform these bird banding duties while ensuring the safety of staff and birds is met at all times. Applicants must be willing and able to train less-experienced interns and able to work well with others. It is preferred that applicants have experience with the MAPSProg and Bandit data management software.

    It will be expected that the selected candidate be an active team member to both the bird banding crew and Bandelier’s Natural Resources Program and be willing to perform a wide array of duties. Applicants must be able and willing to work irregular schedules including early mornings, nights, and weekends. It is desirable that applicants be able to carry 30+ lbs and have experience hiking and navigating in remote backcountry settings using map, compass, and GPS.


    Duty Station:

    Bandelier National Monument (BAND) is a unit of the National Park System located near the town of Los Alamos, NM. BAND is located on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico, and protects over 33,000 acres of rugged canyons, mesas, and forests ranging from just over 5,000 feet in elevation near the Rio Grande River to over 10,000 feet in elevation at the park’s northern boundary in the Jemez Mountains.  The neighboring town of Los Alamos is the location of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a Department of Energy national laboratory and one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world. The park benefits from this large, local population of scientists, some of whom support the park’s bird banding program. Many members of the community also participate in the migratory banding sessions in August and September. The headquarters of Bandelier is over 6,000 feet in elevation and summers in the park are characterized by very warm days, cool nights, and frequent monsoonal thunderstorms.  The banding stations are located at 9,000 feet elevation and can be very cold during the banding season. Housing will be provided near the headquarters area of the park. A vehicle will also be provided for work-related duties, but a personal vehicle is required for other activities.



    $3,000/month + housing, 40 hours per week


    To apply, please send your resume and contact information (including email addresses) for three references to Sarah Milligan at sarah_milligan@nps.gov


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