Bird bander internship in Costa Rica, room & board included

Bird bander internship in Costa Rica, room & board included

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Program details

Costa Rica bird banding internship, work exchange program

Costa Rica Bird Observatories (CRBO) is a nationwide bird monitoring initiative created in partnership between the US Forest Service, the National Institute of Biodiversity of Costa Rica (INBio) and the Klamath Bird Observatory. CRBO thrives to generate scientific information that can be readily used to inform conservation. CRBO has been monitoring birds since 1994, operating about 30 stations together with its partners. As a result, a considerable amount of high-quality data has been collected about individual birds and species distribution in specific hotspots.
Iy you are an experienced bird bander or bander assistants, CRBO has a fantastic internship opportunity for you starting from this summer.

About the internship, work exchange program

The main expectation of the interns is to ensure continuous monitoring through area searches, banding, and processing of migrant and resident land bird species. Currently only CRBO’s highland site can host inters due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This site is situated in the cold, rainy cloud forests of the Cordillera Talamanca. While rife with many wonderful endemics, banders need to be prepared for spending several months in a cold, windy, cloud forest environment. Banders are not permitted to visit other banding sites due to restrictions with our collaborators and banders are not permitted to travel until after the internship is complete.

Your tasks

  • 6 hours/day and 25 days/month working.
  • Commitment of 2-3 months.
  • Identification and counting of migrant and resident landbird species during monitoring activities.
  • Timely data entry every afternoon (a work laptop will be provided, but it is helpful to bring your own laptop as well).
  • Maintaining records of migrant and resident landbird data for further population parameter analysis.
  • Represent CRBO and maintain a presence as a science-driven organization.

You will gain knowledge of the rural dynamics of tropical Latin American communities as well as deeper knowledge of bird monitoring and conservation efforts in the tropics, bird banding experience with a suite of different species, including using the WRP system to age resident birds.

What’s in it for you?

All in country expenses covered including all food and free housing in a cozy highlands cabin with potential for partial flight coverage for exceptionally qualified candidates.


  • Applicants are expected to have an intermediate – advanced level of banding experience.
  • Ideal applicants will have extracted at least 500 adult songbirds from mist-nets and have processed/banded a similar number. Do not apply if you have banded less than 300 songbirds.
  • NABC certification is not required, but applicants holding it will be given preference. Preferred applicants should also have experience with bird identification, as area searches are part of the daily protocol.
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a small team.
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude in adverse field conditions including but not limited to cold, constantly changing weather conditions, chiggers, and physically demanding work.
  • Adaptable to living in a field house environment.



Accomodation offer

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Flight offer

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Program highlights

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Contact details

Address: Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)
Apdo. postal 22-3100
Santo Domingo, Heredia, Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2507 8208
(506) 2507 8142

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