Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory, Chilcotin, BC Canada – Volunteers Aug 3 – Oct. 15
The TLBO is looking for volunteers to help run our fall migration monitoring program for the 2023 season which runs from Aug. 3 – Sept. 30. Additionally, we will need 1-2 volunteers for the period of Oct. 1-15 to assist with the latter half of our Saw-whet Owl banding program. Volunteers will gain hands on experience in bird banding/handling as well as identification. Volunteers are expected to assist the Bander-in-charge (BIC) and Assistant Bander in all duties around the station as required including, but not limited to, banding, extraction of birds from mist-nets, census (if qualified), data entry and maintenance. TLBO typically bands between 1300 and 1900 birds/season, of between 50-60 species, with an additional 250-350 recaptures. The fairly low daily volume of birds makes for an excellent environment for training. Indeed TLBO is ideal for those looking to gain quality experience working with birds. Two programs are run: 1) the songbird monitoring which operates for 6hrs/day starting at sunrise every day, ending Sept. 28 and 2) the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding program which is run on a somewhat opportunistic basis from around Sep. 5 until the middle of October, expected to comprise about 20 nights (3hrs/night, starting at dark). Historically, season total captures have ranged from a low of 7 to a high of 60 from 10-13 nights effort during September. The October portion was initiated in 2021 and sees higher numbers of owls caught/night as this is their peak migration period. TLBO is an excellent station for those who enjoy remote wilderness with stunning scenery and moderate fishing and good hiking opportunities. Wildlife is plentiful with Black Bears being common in some years and Grizzly Bears and Cougar also present in the valley. Knowledge of wildlife safety is thus very important. TLBO is operated by the Tatlayoko Field Station Society, a local non-profit.
The Tatlayoko Valley is a 3hr drive west from the nearest major community, Williams Lake, though there are gas stations and basic services closer. For long term volunteers, pick up/drop off in Williams Lake may be able to be arranged otherwise a personal vehicle will be required. Rustic camping facilities are available within a 10 minute drive of the station otherwise volunteers are responsible for their own accommodation (there is a B&B in the valley, a couple small cabins to rent for a reasonable fee and potentially a room to rent at the field house with the banders). Volunteers will also need to provide all their own camping equipment and food. Volunteers are expected to work every day of their stay, weather permitting, though if sufficient personnel are present days off can be arranged at the BICs discretion. Preference will be given to volunteers who can commit to 2-3 weeks and who express an expectation of using the skills gained during their time at TLBO in the future. A modest stipend to help cover food/travel/accommodation costs will be available with priority going to volunteers who can commit to at least 10 days. No prior experience is necessary to apply. Please send a short CV or resume to Avery Bartels at averybartels_AT_hotmail.com (note: _AT_ = @). Please see www.tatlayokobirds.wordpress.com for more information.