Bird Bander - VIU Bird Banding Project

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Volunteer bird banders contributed to the VIU Bird Banding project and learned avian field techniques, including mist netting, bird identification, and live bird handling and banding.


Position Overview

Volunteer bird banders contribute to the VIU Bird Banding project and learn avian field techniques, including mist netting, bird identification, and live bird handling and banding.


The VIU bird monitoring and banding project was established in 2013. To learn more, visit the VIU Bird Banding project website. The main objectives of this project are to monitor migrant and resident birds to contribute to regional and continent-wide efforts to monitor changes in their populations, provide practical training opportunities for VIU students and community volunteers, and conduct public demonstrations where people of all ages can learn about bird identification, ecology, and conservation. Much of this project focuses on the live capture-and-recapture of songbirds, and identification, leg banding, and taking biometric measurements.


The main project activities are conducted at the VIU bird banding station at Buttertubs West Marsh in Nanaimo, but other additional research sites may also be visited. Project activities take place 1-3 days per week (weather-dependent) and each day usually begins before sunrise and lasts 4-6 hours. All monitoring activities are conducted in accordance with procedures established in the VIU Bird Monitoring and Banding Manual, and as approved by the VIU Animal Care Committee.


Volunteer bird banders contribute actively to achieving the project objectives, work closely with the bander-in-charge, and gain valuable experience in many aspects of avian field techniques. These techniques include mist-netting, bird identification by sight and sound, live bird handling and banding, age and sex determination, morphological measurements, nest monitoring, and behavioral observations


Graduate Attributes Associated

 Students in this position will gain skills in the capacity to engage in respectful relationships, collaboration, foundations for lifelong learning, oral communication, safe and ethical practices, and scientific literacy


Sign-up Directions

For more information, please contact Dr. Eric Demers, Professor, Co-Chair, Biology Department, at