Forest Bird Technician

Website National Audubon Society

Audubon Louisiana’s Prothonotary Warbler Program


Audubon Louisiana leads the coordination of Prothonotary Warbler research and conservation initiatives locally and internationally through the Prothonotary Warbler Working Group to:

  • use new technologies, such as light-level geolocators and nanotags, to track the migration of individual birds to provide new insights into their migratory and wintering ecology;
  • deploy nest boxes to monitor breeding productivity and assess annual return rates;
  • understand the role and connectivity of wintering events on breeding success;
  • develop a life cycle population model to inform an International Conservation Plan to outline strategies that will reverse population declines.

In Louisiana, we coordinate on-the-ground research, nest box monitoring, and volunteer engagement in collaboration with Louisiana Bird Observatory (a program of the Baton Rouge Audubon Society), BREC (Baton Rouge Parish Parks and Recreation Department), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, and Louisiana Office of State Parks. We also work with a variety of other groups and organizations, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana State University AgCenter, The National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, Acadiana Nature Station, and several local high schools to provide workshops and training seminars to increase the awareness of bottomland hardwood forest conservation and associated incentive programs for land owners and land managers.

This work has been supported by a grant from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coypu Foundation, Mosaic Company Foundation and Walton Family Foundation, as well as individual giving/sponsorships.

Position Summary

The Forest Bird Technician will support our research and conservation project to benefit Prothonotary Warblers and other bottomland hardwood forest songbirds. The goals of the program are to deploy nest boxes within suitable habitat to increase local nest success of forest songbirds, reduce predation risks, and reduce nest-parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds. The technician will help build, deploy and monitor these nest boxes, track nest success, band nestling and adult Prothonotary Warblers, and coordinate volunteer project days. The technician will also help relocate banded birds, retrieve geolocators that were deployed during the 2017 breeding season, and deploy nanotags during 2018.


The position will start on approximately 19 March 2018, and will require working a minimum of 40 hours per week over the course of 18 weeks. The position will require work to take place during early mornings, and late evenings and weekends as required.

Essential Functions

Supervised by Audubon Louisiana’s Avian Biologist, and working closely with our Director of Bird Conservation, the Forest Bird Intern will assist Audubon Louisiana staff to:

  • Monitor nesting activity and record detailed data on nest productivity;
  • Band adults and nestlings, and record morphometric information;
  • Resight color-banded birds and retrieve geolocators;
  • Set up video cameras to record nestling provisioning;
  • Enter data and prepare interim reports;
  • Coordinate work duties with Audubon WINGs interns and volunteers;
  • Engage local communities, organize volunteer events, and use social media to increase awareness of the need to protect a species of conservation concern;
  • Help organize and facilitate nest box building workshops;
  • Interact with citizen scientists and provide guidance in nest monitoring protocols;
  • Plan and execute specific tasks, sometimes independently of a direct supervisor.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Must have or be working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Ornithology, Wildlife Biology, Natural Resource Ecology, or related field;
  • Experience in monitoring birds;
  • Nest searching, bird banding, and nest productivity monitoring;
  • Knowledge of conservation methods in forested habitats, such as conservation easements and restoration techniques;
  • Experience implementing new projects and engaging volunteers;
  • Excellent interpersonal as well as written and oral communication skills;
  • Self-motivated and reliable; ability to work unsupervised;
  • Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail;
  • Ability to both lead and work as a team;
  • Must be comfortable interacting with the public and staff of multiple partner organizations;
  • Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, humid, biting insects);
  • Proficiency using the Microsoft Office suite (e.g. Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint);
  • Must have a valid Driver’s License and personal vehicle.

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