In 2014 ...

Because I am obsessed with the rainforest and with birds I am constantly looking at job postings related to either of these topics. I signed up to be on a Bird Jobs list serve through the Ornithological Societies of North America (OSNA) which sends postings on a weekly basis.  If you want to sign up follow these instructions!
To subscribe to this e-list, send the following message to: < <>>, in the body of the message type: join Birdjobs-L “your name”. The subject line should be blank. Please use the “plain text only” e-mail format option, include your own name in the message, and put quotation marks around your name.

See More of my Field Manager Rene Valdes Photography here

El Taray Nesting/Breeding Cliff
Maroon-fronted parrot

It was through this list serve that I found the 2-month volunteer job I did in Mexico with Tecnologico de Monterrey looking at the Maroon-Fronted Parrots breeding ecology in the Sierra Madres mountain range in 2009. Since then I still continued to read through the posts.

Just recently I happened upon THIS post:

On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Allison Lee <> wrote:
SHORT TERM VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT (Low season/high season transition) at Tambopata Macaw Project. Website: http:\\ Location: Tambopata Research Center-TRC in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. Duration: 12 to 30 day stay preferred. Job Type: Volunteer. Application Deadline: 15 Oct 2013. Job Description: Volunteer activities: These assistants will be quickly trained to identify all the local parrots by sight and become experts at clay lick monitoring and macaw nest observation with video camera systems (Nov – Mar). Due to the short length of stay, volunteers will have only minimal involvement in activities requiring higher training levels like parrot censuses and tree climbing. Assistants will also help with data entry. Qualifications: General requirements: Volunteers should be self-disciplined, responsible, enthusiastic, and patient. You should also be able to tolerate moderate insect levels, and hot weather (85-90F/30-33C with high humidity). You must also be able to get along well with others in a remote field setting. Additional requirements: Average physical condition, able to walk 2 km over moderate terrain, good sense of observing animals, ability to stay seated for long periods of time, some background knowledge of birds in general. Qualifications: (1) Some background knowledge of birds in general. (2) Good sense of observing animals, (3) Capacity of stay seated for long periods of time, (4) Some knowledge of Spanish (not required but helpful) Costs: Volunteers must pay their transportation to Peru (Puerto Maldonado City) and a fee of $40 per day to cover the cost of food and lodging Number of Openings: 2. To Apply: How to apply: To apply please send an email to (EM: This email should contain the following: 1.A letter of interest explaining why you are want to work on the project 2.Your CV or resume 3.Email addresses for at least 3 references 4.The range of dates when you will be available and how long you can participate. For example you may say something like “any 60 day period between March and July 2013”.
There was also a 2-3month long term volunteer position but seeing as I already currently have a really awesome full-time job in Oceanography there was no way I could afford that much time off. I did see that the long-term volunteers got to climb into the tree canopy to monitor the macaw nests and so I kindly asked if I could be trained to do the same thing even though I only have 3 weeks to spare. 

They agreed! 

Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Macaw Project <>

To: Allison Lee <>

Dear Allison:

Thanks you very much for your interest in the project and for your application!. Your CV is just astonishing. Antarctica? Well done!! Good publications too. Congratulations!!

I have send a request for references to the people you have listed. Let’s wait for their reply to keep talking about a possible assistantship with us.

Beside, let’s talk a little bit about your available dates. We do climb trees do check the macaw chick but that is mostly from Nov to March. Macaw chicks start to fledge starting at mid Feb and we have a few at the beginning of March and some less by the end of that month. If you want to climb, better to schedule yourself to come as early as you can in March! Or maybe late February??  That is just a kind suggestion of my.  If you want to be sure that you will climb trees better to come when we know that we will have chicks in nests for sure! Off course, some years we have had chicks until April but just one or two and those were exceptions. Mother nature …you know.

Let me know about your dates!  Let’s keep in touch

Gabriela Vigo Trauco
 PhD Student
Wildlife and Fisheries, Texas A&M University
 Tambopata Macaw Project
Shubot Exotic Bird Heath Center, Texas A&M University
Rainforest Expeditions

AMAZINGLY ENOUGH the dream I had cultivated since 2008 is FINALLY coming true!!!!!

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