Volunteer Opportunities

Would you like to have fun outdoors, see lots of
amazing animals, and contribute to a globally-unique
scientific research project?  Then read on!

Song Sparrow crew hard at work on Portland Island

From March to August each year we work together with enthusiastic volunteers from the
naturalist community, as well as students and colleagues from UBC, U of T, UWO and
UVIC, studying the physiological, behavioural and demographic effects of food and
predators on Song Sparrows, at several sites in and around Victoria, B.C.

Colour-banded Song Sparrow

Every year we monitor about 100 Song Sparrow territories.  Half of these are located in
Victoria, in the Rithets Bog and Swan Lake Conservation Areas, while the other half are
located on several small islands (Brackman, Hood, Portland, Russell and Tortoise) near
the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Potter trapping (small box bottom left) and mist-netting on Portland Island

We welcome the participation of any enthusiastic naturalist in our study.  Our activities
include basic bird watching for the identification of colour-banded individuals, nest searching,
mist-netting, measuring nestlings, radio-tracking juveniles, and small mammal inventories for
predator identification.

Colour-banding and measuring nestlings

Our sites in Victoria are an easy stroll from the nearest parking area.  Travel to the islands
is via a small boat, which requires a bit more stamina, but offers rewards in the form of
breathtaking scenery and the chance to see seals, porpoises, Rhinoceros Auklets,
Marbled Murrelets and other marine life.

Don't worry, we do have a bigger boat than this!

If you would like to volunteer, please download the volunteer sign-up sheet in MS Excel
format, fill it in and send it to us as an e-mail attachment, or download the Adobe PDF
version, print it out, fill it in and post it to us.  For more information please e-mail or phone:
Dr. Michael Clinchy or Dr. Liana Zanette
mclinchy@uvic.ca or lzanette@uwo.ca
In Victoria (mid-March to August)
5268 Santa Clara Avenue
Victoria, B.C., V8Y 1W4

Ph: (250) 658-3325

In London (Sept. to March)
Department of Biology
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, N6A 5B7
Ph: (519) 850-2549 or -2533


Liana, Elena and Anne look on as research assistants Chris de Ruyck and Josh Malt take a dip