Black Swamp Bird Observatory is accepting applications for the following seasonal position:
Seasonal Passerine Technician (Bird Banding) *Please submit applications by March 20th, 2017.
Black Swamp Bird Observatory is seeking one seasonal passerine technician for the spring season, 10 April through the end of May 2017. This is an opportunity to work and study at one of the highest-volume bird banding stations in the U.S. and experience the spectacle of bird migration in the famous Lake Erie Marshes region of northwestern Ohio. Work is fast-paced and high-pressure but extremely rewarding.
Schedule: The technician will work five days per week. Days off may be consecutive or non-consecutive depending on the needs of the station. Technicians will need to have a flexible schedule for the duration of the season in order to accommodate station needs.
Where: Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Navarre Marsh Banding Station is located in the Navarre Marsh division of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Harbor, Ohio. The station lies within a closed portion of the refuge, and is not accessible to the general public. The lakefront site is a forested wetland dominated by button bush swamp and hackberry-cottonwood forest. BSBO headquarters is located on the entrance road to the famed Magee Marsh Wildlife Area approximately 8 miles west of the banding station.
Requirements: Extensive bird handling and banding experience is required. The technician is not required to hold their own master banding permit or subpermit, but should possess the skills that would be necessary to attain a banding permit and/or hold NABC “bander”-level certification. When applying please provide a detailed list of your banding experience and qualifications, including use of mist nets, approximate number of birds extracted, extraction techniques utilized, approximate number of passerines/near-passerines banded and a general description of species/guilds with which you have experience, details on any hummingbird banding experience you may have, and experience conducting point counts/identifying eastern birds by sight and sound.
Considerable knowledge of eastern bird identification, ageing, and sexing, along with a deep understanding of species molt cycles, particularly those of neo-tropical migrant songbirds is required. The technician will need to be able to quickly, confidently, and correctly identify all regularly-occurring species of flycatchers, vireos, warblers, thrushes, sparrows, etc., including Empidonax flycatchers, Catharus thrushes, and all ages/sexes of warbler species. As part of the banding process, technicians are required to quickly and accurately age and sex individuals, take, and record measurements. Technicians should be familiar with fat scoring techniques.
The technician is required to work on a team of staff members and volunteers at a high-volume, fast-paced migration station. The ability to maintain a positive attitude, handle high-pressure situations, and work cooperatively with other banders and volunteers cannot be overstated. The ideal applicant will have strong leadership skills, a willingness to share knowledge with others, and the ability to take instruction and criticism from the station manager and/or bander in charge with a positive attitude. The successful applicant will be safety-oriented in their banding philosophy and will be dedicated to both bird and bander/volunteer safety above all else.
Duties: The technician will work under the direction of the Banding Projects Manager and will follow the BSBO station protocol for banding operations. The technician will be responsible for opening/closing nets, extracting birds, banding birds, recording data, ensuring protocols are followed correctly, and conducting other station duties as assigned. The technician may be asked to conduct point counts, enter data into a computer system, and provide assistance with public banding demonstrations and school group presentations.
Accommodations: Refuge housing or housing at a local conservancy will be available for the duration of the season. Both housing situations offer the technician excellent birding opportunities within the immediate vicinity as well as throughout the general region. The banding station and housing options are located in a rural portion of northwestern Ohio. The technician will be required to have their own reliable transportation in order to get to/from the banding station and the office as well as to explore the surrounding area, get to the grocery store, etc.
Wages: Pay will be commensurate with experience.
Applications: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of at least three references (include at least one reference who can speak to your banding ability) to Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Banding Projects Manager (EM: firstname.lastname@example.org). Deadline for submitting applications is March 20, 2017