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  • Volunteer(s) wanted – 1.5 month bird sampling work in outback NSW, Australia

    Guest Janet Chik
    • Employer: Macquarie University
      Location: Broken Hill, NSW
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    About the Project

    We are looking for volunteer(s) to assist in the Broken Hill House Sparrow Monitoring Project, from mid-October to late-November. We study the effects of heavy metal pollution on physiology and behaviour, using house sparrows in the isolated mining city of Broken Hill, outback NSW, Australia. This is a great opportunity to gain experience in avian and animal behaviour research, as volunteer(s) will participate in the capture, banding and sampling of wild birds, and also in conducting field cognition experiments, including using radio frequency identification (RFID) feeding stations to collect social data.

    About the field work

    The upcoming field session will last for ~6 weeks (tentatively 17th Oct – 26th Nov). Volunteer(s) will work in an urban setting with a PhD student from Macquarie University, chiefly in gardens/front yards, and will assist in:

    • Mist-netting, banding, RFID-tagging, and taking blood samples of house sparrows
    • Conducting handling aggression assessments on captured birds
    • Conducting escape flight tests on captured birds
    • Setting-up and maintaining RFID feeders
    • Video recording of RFID feeder activity
    • Maintenance of the field database

    Accommodation will be provided, and all flights and visa costs (for volunteer(s) outside of Australia) are covered. Note that living costs is not covered. We will travel with a field vehicle on site. As we will be in the city, internet and phone signals are available.

    Volunteer requirements

    We are looking for individuals who:

    • Have a full driving license (manual)
    • Preferably have experience in mist-netting and bird banding , but training on all tasks will be provided
    • Are motivated and willing to work long hours (6-7am start, 6 days/week)
    • Have good interpersonal skills and are comfortable with working (and living) with a small team
    • Are responsible, organized and have good data keeping habits

    To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to Janet (heungyingjanet.chik@hdr.mq.edu.au). Feel free to email if you have any questions too. The position will be open until filled.

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