Bander-in-Charge needed for fall 2022


McGill Bird Observatory (MBO) is a program of the Migration Research Foundation Inc, (MRF), a Canadian registered non-profit society governed by a volunteer board of directors. MBO is located near the west end of the island of Montreal, and is the only member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network in southwestern Quebec. Standardized spring and fall migration monitoring has been undertaken at MBO annually since 2005. MBO uses daily counts and bird banding to research stopover ecology and monitor population trends of migratory songbirds, and raise awareness of bird conservation in a near-urban area. On average, approximately 3500 birds of 80 species are banded each fall, and close to 150 species are observed. MBO is committed to a safe and respectful work environment, including implementation of any Covid-related precautions that are appropriate at the time of the contract.


MBO is seeking a bander-in-charge (BIC) for the fall 2022 season, extending from August 1 through November 6. The BIC will be responsible for implementing the MBO migration monitoring protocol, including banding birds, recording and proof-reading data, and training/supervising volunteer observers, extractors, scribes, and banders. The BIC will be expected to work 6 days per week, including weekends, for an average of 7.5 hours per day [note that there is potential to reduce this to 5 days per week if preferred by the applicant, with a corresponding reduction in pay]. The work will focus on the 6-hour daily field program (6 hours, beginning 30 minutes before sunrise) plus related on- and off-site tasks such as site maintenance and data entry. Additional data entry can be done on days when rain or high winds prevent program operation. Note that bilingual applicants are preferred.


Please address the following in your cover letter or CV:

  • Whether you currently hold or are eligible to obtain a Canadian bird banding permit
  • Extent of experience banding passerines and near passerines (and others such as hummingbirds and owls), including extracting them from mist nets, as well as identifying, ageing, sexing, and measuring various species
  • Training history, including NABC certification if applicable
  • Familiarity with eastern North American bird species
  • Familiarity with and commitment to human and bird health and safety priorities
  • Attention to detail in data management
  • Experience training and supervising banders and other volunteers
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Your transportation to the site (no public transit available)
  • Eligibility to work in Canada


The BIC will work under contract with MRF. Compensation will be $900/week (approximately $20/hour) for 14 weeks. MRF cannot provide accommodation, but an additional $100/week can be offered to a BIC who lives beyond daily commuting distance from the site.

Please submit applications and any questions to

Closing date is 30 June 2022 but MRF reserves the option to fill the position sooner, therefore early applications are encouraged.