Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: Low-Medium (but you obviously like birds!)

What’s What: If you enjoy bird-watching, you can record your observations through ebird (even in your own backyard) and help create an international database of birds that is used by scientists and conservationists.

Amava Take: Do you like bird watching, or even just spending time outside? If so, you can join an online birding community by signing up with ebird and reporting the birds you see. Ebird was launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society and receives millions of observations each year—in 2014 alone participants reported almost 61 million observations across the world. To volunteer, just sign up with ebird and enter when and where you went birding, then fill out a checklist of all the birds you saw and heard. Your observations become part of an international network of birders and are shared with educators, ornithologists and conservation biologists. You can also keep track of the birds you see over the years. This opportunity is not just for the birds!

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for?

Anyone who likes bird watching and is willing to take the time to record their observations.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Don’t worry if you are a beginner—just try to accurately record the birds you see when you are outside. According to ebird, they receive valuable observations from people who just look for birds in their own backyard!

What’s a typical schedule like?

There is no schedule required—you can bird watch when and where it’s convenient for you.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Seeing and reporting a bird that is unusual for the area.  

How would you describe the hard parts?

There isn’t really anything “hard” about doing this—sometimes it’s not clear which bird I’ve seen but there’s a way to report that too.

Would you recommend this volunteer job to others?

Absolutely! If you are outdoors hiking, or even relaxing in your own backyard anyway, this is such an easy way to contribute to bird research and help those who make conservation decisions.

Special Requirements: None. This is a volunteer job that all ages can do and there are no special requirements to get started. Also the platform is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Related Classes: Guide to Birding in North America, Secrets of Better Photography, Photographing Nature with Your Digital Camera, Discover Digital Photography

Finding a Position: Go to ebird to find out more about this organization and to sign up for an ebird account. If you’re looking for other birding volunteer opportunities, here are some in California and here are some chances to help rescue birds in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. There are birding organizations all over the world, so if you love it, get after it by searching “birding volunteer.