The Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC) has developed a structured, graduated training program for volunteers who want to assist at the banding station.
If you are interested in training we always suggest people come out for an initial visit to meet the team and discuss volunteering in more detail. We do ask people to commit to regular days each month so they can be added to the schedule and we normally ask for a minimum commitment of 4 scheduled days each month. That doesn’t sound like much but the novelty can quickly go out of banding when you have to set your alarm clock for 3.30 or 4.00 a.m. during the summer months to get to the banding station for dawn on your weekends off!
Our Bird Monitoring and Banding Workshops and Bird Identification Workshops provide the technical foundations for volunteers wishing to assist with the banding program or weekly bird census.
For those wishing to handle birds at the banding station VARC has developed a graduated Volunteer Level Assessment training program which includes net extraction training and ongoing development of processing, ageing and sexing skills.
The purpose of the training program is to ensure that all visitors and volunteers are fully trained and evaluated before handling birds and that the safety and welfare of the birds we study is always the top priority.
Any visitors or volunteers who wish to help at the banding station should consult the Volunteer Levels Assessment document below in addition to the Banding Station Protocol and Code of Ethics.
There are a variety of tasks that require the support of dedicated volunteers that don’t require any special skills or knowledge.
Each spring and fall VARC needs able bodied volunteers to help clear net lanes in preparation for migration banding.
Some people help by regularly filling hummingbird feeders for our hummingbird monitoring program.
Others help by clearing and maintaining net lanes throughout the year.
Capable birders are always needed to report bird sightings to the Centre’s database and to help with the monthly survey.
Photographers are always welcome in order to help us build our photographic library for both education and research projects.
Others simply provide moral support and coffee and tea!
If volunteering interests you please complete the volunteer sign-up form below indicating the areas you are interested in.