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Any Ornithologists?

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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 20:25   #1
smartfinch
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Any Ornithologists?

I've loved birds since I was very little. I told my mom I wanted my first pet to be a bird, and she gave me a blue budgie for my eighth birthday. Since then, I've grown to be avid birdwatcher. I hadn't kept up my birdwatching in quite some time, though, with college, trying to settle down, ect. But, I want to get back into it. And I think I'd like to become what I've always wanted to be since I was young. An ornithologist. But I have no idea where to begin. I have a few years of college under belt in Environmental Sciences, but where to go from there? What I was wondering is if there are any people out there who are ornithologists by profession. How did you get there? What did you do? The community college I go to has a class in ornithology....that's it. Anyway, just looking for a little guidance or advice or...something! It would be much appreciated.
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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 20:51   #2
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hi smartfinch
i think most of us on bf, would love to be able to make a living off doing what we like doing best- birdwatching..
only the lucky few and blessed can do so...
there are certain roads to take.. ie.. photography, reporting, new web sites and working for organistations involving wildlife..
not alot of use i know but good luck..
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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 21:15   #3
Conorbirda2
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Hellooooooo Smartfinch! I did a HND in Countryside Management and had the offr to stop on a do an extra year to make the HND up to a Degree, majoring in Ornithology. I didnt do it in the end because i was fed up with college. I believe the place to go in the US is Cornell University of Ornithology. Idecided against the wildlife jobs as 1. They are few and far between; 2. They are hard to get (lots of applicants after the same job); and 3. They tend not to pay very well.
I suppose it all depends on what you want and what your personal circumstances are. Good Luck.
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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 22:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartfinch View Post
I've loved birds since I was very little. I told my mom I wanted my first pet to be a bird, and she gave me a blue budgie for my eighth birthday. Since then, I've grown to be avid birdwatcher. I hadn't kept up my birdwatching in quite some time, though, with college, trying to settle down, ect. But, I want to get back into it. And I think I'd like to become what I've always wanted to be since I was young. An ornithologist. But I have no idea where to begin. I have a few years of college under belt in Environmental Sciences, but where to go from there? What I was wondering is if there are any people out there who are ornithologists by profession. How did you get there? What did you do? The community college I go to has a class in ornithology....that's it. Anyway, just looking for a little guidance or advice or...something! It would be much appreciated.
Hi Smartfinch
Given you have Environmental Sciences under your belt already you could go the route of working for Ecological Surveying Consultants, building on your experience to specialising in birds, or as Conorbirda2 said Cornell is one of the better known universities. The Ohio Wesleyan University also offer Ornithology..Best of luck in whatever you choose to do
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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 23:54   #5
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You might want to try a seasonal bird job to test the waters a bit and meet some people that could help lead you in the right direction. Ornithological Jobs On-Line
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Old Saturday 16th June 2007, 17:47   #6
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Thanks for all the replies! I think I'm going to look into a few of them.
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Old Saturday 16th June 2007, 18:10   #7
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I did a degree in Zoology, followed by some time working on various bird projects around the world. Then did a PhD in evolotionary ecology and ended up a post doc in Cambridge. Have now moved into working for bird conservation organisations. Ringing/banding is a good skill to have and if you want to do more academic options good maths is extremely useful.
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Old Saturday 16th June 2007, 22:29   #8
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Hi smartfinch - Did you want to work with birds or did you want to teach about birds, or do you want to study birds. If you want a casual background in ornithology Cornell University offers an online course for beginners.
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/

If you want to help birds and actively learn how to rehabilitate sick, injured, or oiled birds there is tri state bird rescue and research in Newark, DE. They can help assist you with your quest.
http://www.tristatebird.org/

If you want to actively engage in environmental impact studies and work in the field, then you might want to explore the Hawk Mountain Association.
http://www.hawkmountain.org/

Any one of these will give you an opportunity to decide if you want to specialize or remain a general ornithologist.
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Old Monday 25th June 2007, 15:40   #9
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I work in the UK and I'm classed as an ecologist but the majority of my work is bird surveys. Which basically means I get to go bird watching and get paid for it. I do summer and winter surveys in all habitats. I work for a consultancy which is where the jobs are if you want to get paid enough to live on. Ive got a degree in Environmental Land Management but have to admit that in order to get into this job its not what you know but who!
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