Western Bird Banding Association
Bird Job
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Seasonal Ornithologist

Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary

Trabuco Canyon, CA


Description: Audubon California’s 4000-acre Starr Ranch Sanctuary in southeast Orange County, California solicits applicants for a position as Seasonal Ornithologist that runs from early November 2020 through mid to end of July 2021.This position normally integrates long-term songbird and raptor monitoring into volunteer and education programs that involve kids and adults in avian monitoring. Depending on COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC and Orange County Public Health, we may cancel all education and volunteer programs. The following describes the position in the likely scenario of a continuing COVID-19 threat.

Responsibilities include supervision of one part-time staff who will assist with songbird banding during winter (Monitoring Overwintering Survival or “MoSI”) and breeding season (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship or “MAPS”). May help coordinate and conduct the Christmas Bird Count with a local Audubon Chapter. Will continue long term point count surveys of the federally threatened Coastal California Gnatcatcher and also continue raptor surveys. Will continue monitoring of the rare Coastal Cactus Wren. Will continue surveys of birds in oak woodlands and also the main riparian corridor on Starr Ranch. Will do data entry, data summaries and submission of banding data to Institute for Bird Populations and summarize point count and other data. Will develop and instruct, with guidance from the research director, online communications and classes for our volunteer banders and for Starr Ranch Junior Biologists, kids ages 8 – 18, who have participated in spring and summer programs.  

Opportunity to do bird monitoring that is integrated into Starr Ranch land management, conservation, volunteer, and education programs. We seek applicants who wish to contribute to wildland conservation through applied research (monitoring) as well as research-based education and who are enthusiastic and experienced in birding and bird monitoring, dedicated, organized, self-starting and thorough. Opportunity to live in a private cabin on our 4000-acre Sanctuary. We have an evolving coronavirus safety plan, e.g. new staff will quarantine on the Ranch for 14 days after arrival. We will follow current CDC and Orange County Public Health recommendations. 

Salary: $640/wk plus housing in private cabin in an oak woodland. 

Qualifications:  Master’s or undergraduate degree in biology or ecology with strong ornithological background and experience.  Strong background in songbird banding, ageing, and sexing (> 500 birds, > 1000 preferred) as well as other bird monitoring techniques essential.  Strong knowledge and interest in birds and bird watching and general natural history of animals and their habitats.  Must have enthusiasm for working (probably online) with kids, adults, and families. 

To Apply: In a few weeks. please go to the confidential Audubon career center to start the application process: https://careers-audubon.icims.com. You will use this link to send your résumé and a cover letter addressed to Dr. Sandy DeSimone stating career goals. For now, please send resume and cover letter to Dr. DeSimone at sandy.desimone@audubon.org Two letters of recommendation can be sent by references to: Dr. Sandy DeSimone, Director, Research and Education; sandy.desimone@audubon.org.The most qualified candidates will have a phone interview. For questions contact Dr. Sandy DeSimone at sandy.desimone@audubon.org or 949-858-0309. 

For More Information:  sandy.desimone@audubon.orgwww.starr-ranch.orghttps://www.facebook.com/audubonstarrranch