Fall 2024 Lead Owl Bander

Michigan Audubon

Paradise, Michigan

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $10.33 - $12.00/hour
Deadline Aug 30, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Job Posting

Position:                                             Fall 2024 Lead Owl Bander

Employer:                                          Michigan Audubon

Location:                                            Paradise, Michigan

Dates of employment:                September 10–November 7, 2024

For the Fall, banding takes place 9/14 – 10/30-10/31.  You will want to arrive to the fieldhouse around 9/10 or 9/11 to get settled in.  Training and set up prior to the banding starting is to arranged with the owl banding permit holder, Chris Neri. 

Compensation:                               $10.33 - $12.00/hour; 7-day work week; sunset to sunrise, with a max of 84 hours per week (overtime after 40 hours)

Housing:                                             Includes communal housing (4 ppl or less) in fieldhouse which is two miles from count site.  Housing includes individual bedroom, full kitchen, and internet.

Classification:                                 Temporary/Seasonal


Michigan Audubon’s Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, located in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is seeking a Lead Owl Bander (LOB) from September 10 through November 7, 2024. The fall season Lead Owl Bander conducts nightly owl banding (dusk through dawn) and records data for Michigan Audubon’s research program. Whitefish Point is a renowned site for avian migration monitoring, including documenting one of the most unique annual owl migrations in North America. Owl species banded in the past include Northern Saw-whet, Boreal, Long-eared, Barred, Great Gray, Great Horned, and Northern Hawk Owls. Fellow field staff will be conducting a waterbird count and passerine count. To learn more about WPBO, please visit wpbo.org.

Primary duties of the Lead Owl Bander include opening and closing nets, net checks, banding, and recording information on owls with the help of the Assistant Owl Bander. Interacting with visitors during banding efforts, is an important part of being an ambassador for Michigan Audubon.  The LOB also contributes to written content by writing blogs, an end-of-season technical report, and contributing to an end-of-season article for our member magazine, the Jack Pine Warbler.  Additional tasks as needed. 

Performance Expectations

  • Conduct owl banding program using the WPBO standardized methodology, 7 days per week except during periods of rain, snow, high winds, or lightning.
  • Ensure all activities abide by the provisions required by all relevant permits, including those of the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory, and those of the Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit provided by Seney National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Maintain organized records and notes with attention to detail, accurately collecting data and recording field notes.
  • Must communicate with offsite Manager on a continuous and timely basis.
  • Perform with a minimum of supervision and work cooperatively with a wide range of people.
  • Reinforce positive relationships with excellent communication and a friendly, positive attitude while engaging the public.
  • Communicate with the public in a professional manner regarding sensitive conservation issues.
  • Serve as a professional, courteous, communicative, and exemplary ambassador for Michigan Audubon and its mission, “Connecting birds and people for the benefit of both through conservation, education, and research efforts in the state of Michigan.”


  • Must be in good physical condition and able to withstand cold working conditions. 
  • Previous mist-netting and bird banding experience is required (2+ field seasons preferred).
  • Education and/or prior field experience in the fields of biological, zoological, environmental, or ecological studies are helpful, but not required, for this position.
  • Ability to work independently with a positive attitude, flexibility, and strong communication skills.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, hold a current, valid driver’s license, and have a personal vehicle for transportation.
  • Eligible for work in the United States and willing to undergo a background check.

To apply, please submit via email a cover letter, resume with references to Nancy Rasinske at nrasinske@michiganaudubon.org with the subject “Fall Lead Owl Bander Application.” Applications will be accepted until filled. Early applications encouraged and preferred for priority consideration by July 15, 2024. To learn more, please visit michiganaudubon.org and wpbo.org

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Wildlife
Tags Ornithology