Erie Bird Observatory invites applications from prospective volunteers who are interested in assisting in migration monitoring activities at our banding station in Presque Isle State Park. Applications from persons with varied skill levels and experience are encouraged. All we ask is that you have a keen interest in learning more about bird banding, support EBO’s mission statement, and can commit to volunteering at least one day a week during season. We are particularly interested in attracting volunteers with an interest in scribing. This is often harder than one may think as not only must you accurately & quickly record what the bander is saying aloud, you must also keep the bander focused & alert them to any potential mistakes asap. It is also arguably one of the most important jobs at the station as data integrity is everything, without accurately recorded data, our efforts will have been effectively wasted.
As our station attracts over 500 visitors a season, we also are looking for volunteers that enjoy talking about birds & the local area to act as a “banding ambassador”, communicating the actions of the bander & the mission of EBO to the general public. This is also another extremely important role as it allows the bander to focus all their attention on the bird in their hand.
For those who may already have prior banding experience, we also are interested in receiving help at the nets. Please note though, all extractors must first be evaluated & cleared by the Bander-in-Charge (BIC). For those who do not have sufficient prior experience but still show a strong interest in learning extraction skills, we will make every effort to get you trained up over the season. However, training is at the discretion of the BIC & is often dependent upon things like weather, time, number of birds & visitors on hand. And just like the weather in Erie, it can change at a moment’s notice; so, even if you were scheduled for one volunteer role, you might be asked to switch to another sometime during your shift. Everyone is expected to assist out scribing or in any other role when asked to do so by the BIC.
Have other skills you’d like to offer? Great! We have volunteers that sew bird bags for us, clear net lanes, help with general construction, solder tracking equipment, and the list goes on. And we are always looking for more experienced help in a variety of areas so, if you’ve got ideas, please let us know in the form below.