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Position: Experienced Assistant Field Biologist
Organization: Pelee Island Bird Observatory
Location: Pelee Island, Ontario
Accommodation: Shared housing is provided

Duration: May 1 through 16 July 2022 – 2.5 months (start and end date may be flexible)
Job type: Seasonal
Application deadline: March 15 2022

Job description:

Participants will assist the Pelee Island Bird Observatory’s Field Supervisor with all research, fieldwork, data management, volunteer supervision, field station logistics and maintenance and on island education programs on Pelee Island from 1st May to 16th July 2022.

  • The Assistant Field Biologist reports to the Field Supervisor.
  • This is a seasonal, full time, 7 days a week position from May 1- July 16.
  • There are two banding benches to allow for social distancing in the banding station and the structure is open on 4 sides with mosquito netting. A negative COVID-19 test 3 days before arriving is required as is proof of vaccination with a booster. Masks will be required while banding and while giving information to visitors. The island has no doctor only a clinic and test kits are in short supply.
  • Candidates are required to make their own arrangements to and from the island.

The Assistant Field Biologist will:

  • Assist the Field Supervisor and PIBO interns/volunteers with all research and fieldwork operations from April to July. The Assistant Field Biologist’s workload will involve up to 50 hours of fieldwork/week, as well as paperwork, data entry, and other duties associated with PIBO’s migration monitoring program.
  • Primary duties include but are not limited to: daily constant-effort migration-monitoring including daily 90 minute census (possibly late May and early June only) and the 6 hour 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.
  • Assist the Field Supervisor with online social media updates during the spring migration season, and contribute articles to the newsletter.
  • Reside on Pelee Island from May to July and live rent-free at the PIBO staff cottage during the field season.

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 75-95% 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 Survey (BBS) are a plus, but not essential. They must be able to spend long periods of time standing and walking over uneven terrain, comfortable interacting with the public, easy to live with and willing to work hard. 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 Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be legally entitled to work in Ontario. A driver’s license and a clean driving record are a plus.

Shared housing is provided but food and transportation to and from Pelee Island will be the responsibility of the candidate. Conditions around the banding station are often flooded and may be muddy. Biting insects, poison ivy, cockroaches, spiders and non-venomous snakes are common. The island can be cold in the early spring and PIBO’s staff house is not winterized. Internet and cellphone reception is limited at the banding station and at the staff house.


Total compensation is up to $2900/month (CDN), minus deductions, depending on experience.

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:

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 4 2022    ID: 62286