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Ornithology Exchange
  • Raptor Counters and Assistants needed

      Location: Chichicaxtle and Cardel
      Country: Mexico
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    The Veracruz River of Raptors (VRR) well known as the project that counts the biggest raptor migration in the planet seeks experienced birders, and ornithologist to help with the Raptor migration count and banding, Counting Volunteer positions will be needed from August 15th till November 23rd, for Raptor Banding Volunteers will be September 10th to November 10th. Minimum time of volunteer: 2 weeks.


    Travel to this spectacular site and enjoy the wonder of birds and insects´ migration. You will also be able to learn about other resident and local birds. Interact with local people and local biologists and naturalists. You will also have the opportunity to approach the culture and of course the real Mexican food.


    Our counting stations are the Mario Ramos Bird Observatory at Chichicaxtle and the roof top of the Bienvenido’s Hotel at Cardel in central Veracruz, Mexico. We count all migratory raptor and some passerines, the timing of the main raptors are: Mississippi Kites (mid-August to mid-September), Broad-winged Hawk (mid-September to early October), Swainson’s Hawk (mid-October to end of month) and Turkey Vultures (October and mid-November) all will be in companion of harriers, ospreys, falcons, kites and accipiters along the season. Counters will be on charge of count and identify raptors and other migrants, Assistants will be on charge of entering live data into Dunkadoo app and interact with visitors and count raptors when needed by the counters.



    All selected applicants will also help setting or maintain clean work stations and living facilities, capture data in our databases if needed. Need to be comfortable working and sharing a room with other people, be flexible, very pro-active, and be comfortable living in small town with rural conditions. Need to work in team and be collaborative. Willing to help in other activities (like attending visitors during our bird festival or in environmental education activities). Hot temperatures and mosquitoes will be expected the first half of the season and will low down after that.


    The living site (Chichicaxtle) is located not too far from the ocean and the mountains where birding hot spots are available with more than 250 bird species, endemics such Mexican Sheartail Hummingbird, White-bellied Wren, other raptor species are near to observation areas, trips to the mangroves are highly recommended to get 5 species of King-fishers, Sungrebes, Black-collared Hawks; in the cloud forest you can see 3 species of toucans, Oropendolas, Motmots and many other species (look for info at Ebird.com about hot spots near Chichicaxtle, and www.hawkcount.org for more count details).


    Volunteers will be based in Chichicaxtle, a small town of Veracruz. Accommodation in rural conditions will be provided. And the minimum time for volunteer is 2 weeks, positions will be available upon approval of the candidate between August 15th to November 23rd, but high qualified birders are encourage to apply for mid-September to mid-October for the peak days of the count, the banding station assistants will be required from September 10th to November 10th.


    Selected people will cover their own transportation to Veracruz Airport. Medium knowledge of Spanish is required but not necessary.


    Main responsibilities:


    ·         Setting up station when applicable.

    ·         Identify and count birds to specie level.

    ·         Assist to the banding station.

    ·         Data entry.

    ·         Interact professionally with visitors, conservationist agencies, staff, and the general public.

    ·         Enjoy migration and birding in Veracruz.

    ·         Care of tablets for the in-site data entry (we use Dunkadoo!).

    ·         Care of telescopes, field guides and other equipment.

    ·         Mandatory for all Volunteers and staff (it is Prohibit the use for Styrofoam, please help to promote a clean environment)


    What is included?

    ·         Housing equipped (Twin mattresses, sheets, fan, stove, refrigerator, dishes, pans, fresh and potable water and electricity).

    ·         Pick up in the airport.

    ·         Project orientation.

    ·         In country emergency support. 

    ·         Diploma of participation.

    ·         Several moments with hundreds of birds per minute!

    ·         Pre-season training for full season volunteers.

    What to bring:

    ·         Binoculars

    ·         Personal cleaning items

    ·         Towel

    ·         Sunscreen

    ·         Insect repellent (can be purchased locally)

    ·         Laptop

    ·         Fresh clothing

    ·         Sunglasses are very important

    ·         Hat

    ·         Long sleeves t-shirt

    ·         Water bottle

    ·         Field boots and sandals

    ·         Don’t forget your camera!

    ·         Pillow  (can buy locally)

    ·         Mobil cellphone (Mexico, US and Canada numbers all works as local so no extra charges)

    ·         Any stomach relief in case the Mexican food upsets your stomach, but we can take you to the doctor as well!

    To Apply:


    Send to rioderapaces@pronaturaveracruz.org a letter of interest and your CV highlighting relevant (raptor counting, ID, etc.,) experience monitoring birds and include three references with full name, charge, email addresses and if possible phone number, in subject line write: Raptor Counter 2018, or Counter Assistant.


    Once we review your papers and if we consider that you cover the requirements, we will contact you with the available calendar so you can choose the dates for your volunteer (first comes, first serves!). And please spread the voice.

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