With our Migration Monitoring Program, our staff may be able to provide some training with your work experience. However, due to the nature of the work and our small team, we encourage ornithologists, field biologists and birders with previous banding experience to apply. Applicants must be able to identify at least 85% of the migratory and non-migratory birds in the Great Lakes region. The seasonal coverage period is from April 1st- June 15th and from August 1st to November 15th. We accept applications for both seasons. The daily coverage period consists of six hours of fieldwork each morning, starting one-half hour before sunrise.
If you have a passion for birds, island living, intense storms and an abundance of wildlife including butterflies, snakes and bats, then PIBO could be the place for you! Must enjoy or at least tolerate communal living, lots of insects, both hot and cold working conditions, long hours, rustic work and living conditions, spotty internet service and irregular supplies of fresh food. PIBO will provide a free place to stay for the duration of your work period; however, transportation to and from Pelee Island is your responsibility.

Bird Monitoring Biologist

Pelee Island Bird Observatory




Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada


1 April through 10 July, 2020 – 3 months (start and end date may be flexible)

Job type:


Application deadline:

March 16 2020

Job description:

Participants will assist with the Pelee Island Bird Observatory’s research and education programs on Pelee Island from 1st April to 10th July 2020. Primary duties include but are not limited to: daily constant-effort migration-monitoring including census and passerine bird banding in April, May, and early June (70 days); summer breeding bird studies (20 days); species-at-risk monitoring (10 days); marsh bird and amphibian surveys (6 days), and additional spring and summer research activities. Candidates will also assist with on-island education and outreach programs including bird banding demonstrations, open-house events, and visiting school and naturalist groups. Other responsibilities include: the entry and proofing of research data collected during the season including PIBO’s Daily Totals (DTs), bird banding records, species-a-risk data, marsh bird surveys, amphibian monitoring, etc.; writing bi-weekly migration summaries, assisting with the upkeep of the PIBO staff cottage (help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.), and maintaining a welcoming environment for visitors. Pelee Island is a premier location to study and observe hundreds of migratory species and dozens of breeding birds with limited ranges in Canada.


An experienced field birder able to identify 70-90% of the majority of species found in the Great lakes region by sight and sound. Previous bird banding experience (ideally more than 5000 birds banded) and familiarity with CMMN migration monitoring, the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program and Breeding Bird Census (BBC) are a plus, but not essential. PIBO’s staff and volunteers must be prepared to sometimes work ten-hour days for up to 70 days in a row without a day off, in both cold, as well as hot, humid, buggy conditions. Candidates must be good with the public, easy to live with, and willing to work hard.


Total compensation is up to $2778/month (CDN), minus deductions, depending on experience. During their employment, participants will live rent-free with other staff and volunteers at PIBO’s field station.

To apply:

Please send your resume, a cover letter describing your experience and interest in the position, and contact information for three references, to Suzanne Friemann at: suzanne.friemann@pibo.ca

 Number of openings:


Candidates must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and legally entitled to work in Ontario.