Opportunities for ringers

Opportunities for ringers holding a valid BTO permit will be posted on this page as and when they become available. These may be paid opportunities, but some may be voluntary positions or just opportunities to gain additional ringing experience. If you wish to advertise an opportunity or position on this page, please email ruth.walker [at] bto.org.

Job opportunities at the BTO will be advertised separately on the BTO job vacancies page.

Wytham Great Tit and Blue Tit project: three paid field assistant positions available

Three short-term field assistant positions are available to work collecting data on the breeding biology of Blue Tits and Great Tits, based at the Edward Grey Institute, Dept of Zoology, University of Oxford.

The posts are available for two months full time, from approximately Monday 6th April to Friday 5th June 2020. The main duties of the post-holders will be to carry out fieldwork monitoring the nest box populations of breeding Great Tits and Blue Tits at Wytham Woods, near Oxford, and to assist in the collation and input of data. Further details about the project see www.WythamTits.com. The hours are variable, but will include some weeks of extremely intensive fieldwork (the exact dates of the period of intensive work cannot be specified as it depends on the timing of the spring each year).

Successful candidates must have (or be qualified to obtain) a BTO permit to ring adult and nestling tits, be able to demonstrate skill and enthusiasm for biological research as well as experience of fieldwork under arduous conditions, and of working as part of a team. Informal inquiries about the positions should be emailed to Dr Ella Cole (eleanor.cole [at] zoo.ox.ac.uk).

The posts are based in a dynamic research-active institute, of c. 50 people, fully integrated within the Department of Zoology. Further details about the institute are available at: http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/egi/.

Salary: All field assistants will be accommodated in the Wytham Chalet, a research facility within Wytham Woods free of charge and will each receive an additional £3,000 living expenses.

Start date: April 6th 2020

To apply: please email a CV, together with a covering letter explaining your interest and skills plus the email addresses of two referees to Ms Lynne Bradley, PA to Professor Ben Sheldon (ben.sheldon.pa [at] zoo.ox.ac.uk).

Closing date: Wednesday 5th February. All applications will be acknowledged. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed between 10th and 12th February 2020.


Applicants need to be competent birdwatchers and have a BTO ringing C permit with a mist-net endorsement as a minimum requirement. An interest in other aspects of natural history and biological recording is also needed.

The position runs from mid-March to mid-November 2020. Remuneration is £600.00 per calendar month paid mid-month by bank transfer. The Warden is contracted for the period on a self-employed basis and is responsible for their own National Insurance payments. Basic, but adequate, accommodation is available on site for which no charge is made, including utilities.

The Bird Observatory Warden gets out of this job what they put into it. More information on Landguard Bird Observatory (www.lbo.org.uk), nearby attractions and the adjoining town of Felixstowe can be found via Goggle.

A job description is available on request. If you require any specifics please don’t hesitate to ask. Please email: landguardbo [at] yahoo.co.uk

Calf of Man Volunteering 2020

Looking to gain some conservation experience? Enjoy island living? Why not join us on the Calf of Man for the 2020 season?

Manx Wildlife Trust are looking for long term volunteers to help support the Calf of Man wardens in their day-to-day tasks. Volunteering is varied, helping both the Estate warden and the Bird warden.

We are looking for birders with experience in ringing, surveys and general identification skills. You would help with breeding bird surveys, sea watches and seabird counts. You would also help with the Manx Shearwater project, monitoring nest occupancy, amongst many other roles.

If you feel you don’t have the necessary bird skills why not help the Estate warden with land management; biological surveys, such as butterfly transects and moth trapping; and infrastructure support and maintenance.

We are looking for volunteers to be available between early March and end of May; June to August; and September to mid-November. However, you can stay longer than that if you like.

Ideally, we are looking for people with experience, skills and knowledge in the topics below. Don’t worry you aren’t expected to be an expert on all of these and if you don’t have loads of experience, onsite training will be provided by the wardens.

  • Nature conservation and land management
  • Wildlife surveys, including birds
  • Bird ringing or handling birds
  • Species and bird identification
  • First Aid qualification
  • Property management/building and/or machinery maintenance
  • Climbing and rope work
  • ATV and/or tractor driving qualifications
  • Good communication skills
  • Dealing with the public
  • Working in rough coastal or isolated environments

The work will be supervised by the Estate and/or Bird warden depending on your field of experience. Whilst on the Calf you’ll need to be flexible in working times, to include weekends and bank holidays.

The Calf of Man

Located amidst spectacular scenery half a mile off the southern tip of the Isle of Man, the Calf of Man is a small island extending to approximately 616 acres. In the ownership of the Manx National Heritage (MNH), its primary purpose is as a Bird Observatory, with wardens’ resident on the Island from early-March to mid-November.

This island is an ideal place to study many aspects of bird life with around 33 species breeding annually and it is located on one of western Britain's major migration routes. Breeding seabirds include Manx Shearwater, Fulmar, Razorbill, Shag and the three larger gull species. Other notable species normally observed daily on the island include Peregrine, Hen Harrier, Chough and Raven.

Hostel style accommodation will be provided on the Calf, which will be shared with the wardens, other volunteers and paying guests. You will be expected to help keep the Observatory clean and tidy at all times. Food deliveries will be made once a week and payment for each delivery must be made promptly.

For more information please contact: Lara Howe at lara [at] manxwt.org.uk

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