Bird Banding Apprenticeship

Spring 2021 Bird Banding Apprenticeship
September 7th through November 2nd 2020

The Toucan Ridge Bird Observatory, located at the T.R.E.E.S Research Center in the Maya Mountains of Belize, currently has between 4-6 apprenticeship spots open for our Spring 2020 Bird Banding Apprenticeship Program. During this Apprenticeship you will learn how to set-up mist-nets, extract passerine birds from mist-nets, learn proper bird banding techniques, learn how to I.D., age and sex resident birds as well as Neotropical migrants, learn proper data entry, and more. In addition to the field work the Apprenticeship comes with 2 lectures on bird banding methodology as well as a lecture on Ageing and Sexing and hours of training. The main banding instructor is a North American Banding Council certified Trainer with over 20 years of experience in the field. You will also have the opportunity to work with other experienced banders and other apprentices from around the world. Apprentices will also have the opportunity to learn additional avian monitoring techniques, as well as methodologies to study other wildlife species, including turtle radio-telemetry and bat mist-netting.

Fees for the Apprenticeship: $450 US/week which includes all tutorship, access to all required equipment, all meals Monday through Sunday, and lodging at the research center in shared dormitory-style cabins with other same sex interns/apprentices/volunteers. Fees do not include airport transfer, flights, or travel medical insurance.  

Dates for the Apprenticeship: Two 4 week sessions available starting 7th September through to 4th October and 5th October through to 2nd November, minimum commitment of two weeks but preferably the entire 4 weeks of session with possibility to extend longer depending on applicant.

Schedule: Banding runs every day Monday through Sunday, from 5:30 am until 11:00 am. Other wildlife monitoring projects occur during the day (turtle radio-telemetry in 3 hour sessions, at least once weekly) and in the evening (bat mist-netting, dusk to 11:00 pm, nightly). Apprentices are welcome to travel to visit other locations in Belize on weekends if they desire, however no refunds on food and lodging will be available if the apprentice decides to leave the station.

Prior Experience: No prior banding experience required however experience handling wildlife and knowledge of bird biology and identification preferred. However, experienced bird banders are also welcome and will be treated according to their experience level and are eligible for *discounted rates (up to $150 US less per week).

How to Apply:

Please email your resume, application form, and a thoughtful cover letter to: (international students) OR (Belizean students)

Application Form: Internship Application Form

For more information on our partner organization and their facilities please visit the website: 

*To apply for discounted rates, please fill out an NABC certification application at and send to and we will determine if you are eligible.

Please indicate the position title in your email subject line. No phone calls please.

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