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  • Volunteer Field Assistants for Avian Behavioral Ecology Study in China

    • Employer: Beijing Forestry University
      Location: Henan Province
      Country: China
      Last Date to Apply: 05/19/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are looking for volunteer field assistants for our study of avian behavioral ecology in central China. The volunteers are expected to assist in two projects: (1) Black-throated and Silver-throated tit project, which will be focusing on interspecific comparison of incubation behavior and the role of familiarity in mediating cooperative breeding behaviours; and 2) Japanese tit (a previous subspecies of the well-known Great tit) project, which will be focusing on how behavioral laterality (specifically, footedness) is associated with individual personality and reproduction in a newly established nest-box population.

    The volunteers will be working with a crew of 5-10 people, including students and other volunteers. Duties of both projects include identifying color-ring-banded individuals, searching for and checking nests, mist-netting birds, observing behaviors conducting experiments and data entry, etc.

    Volunteers will have opportunities to learn field skills of ornithological research and experience Chinese tradition and culture. As the study site is located at the outskirt of the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, a well-known birding spot in the Henan province of China, the volunteers will also have opportunities to see many Chinese bird species (e.g. Reeves's pheasant and Crested ibis).

    The start of the Black-throated and Silver-throated tit project will be at the beginning of February and will last until mid-May, and the Japanese tit project will be in early March and will last until mid July. Volunteers can be joining either of the two projects at any time and can consider to switch from the first project to the second project in mid-May. The volunteers with a minimum stay of two or more months are preferred.

    The projects will cover all work-related expenses during the volunteering period (i.e. housing, food, and traffic costs, etc.), but there will be no salary, and the volunteers are responsible for their travel to and from China.


    1. Strong interest in wildlife research, especially birds and animal behaviors;

    2. A background in biology, ecology or a related field. Previous experience with birds is preferred, but not essential (basic training, such as mist-netting and behavioral observation, will be provided).

    3. Be physically fit for field work and willing to work for long and irregular time in the field.

    4. Be used to Chinese diet and be willing to share rooms with other crew members.

    Some more information can be found at: http://www.luckytit.cn.

    To apply:

    For the Black-throated and Silver-throated tit project, please contact Qian HU at "huqian1995@bjfu.edu.cn"; and for the Japanese tit project, please contact Nursoltan Qiahan at "nursoltan@qq.com". The application should include: (1) a short resume or CV, (2) the dates you will be available for the projects, and (3) the names and contact information of at least two references.

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