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The volunteer aspect seems to me to be much preferable to the "birding tour company's" offfering. I believe it might be worth looking into. It will be interesting to see just how many people apply. 

John Curran <[log in to unmask]> wrote:--- Robert Fisher wrote:
> 
> " I received a solicitation in my mailbox today from
> a well-known birding tour company. It offers a
> 4-day, $1550 "Ivory-billed Woodpecker Tour." 



This may have been posted already but I don't think it
has. Sorry if this is repeat information.

This would be for the very serious birder who fits the
requirements. But it sounds cheaper than the tour
above, and efforts may/would contribute to the overall
project/history. 

If any one on this list participates this, let us know
how the experience was, if you are legal to even tell
us. ;-)


http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/how_to_help/volunteer


Volunteers Sought

If you have ever dreamed of searching for Ivory-billed
Woodpeckers, this is your chance to do it in an
official capacity with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
and Audubon Arkansas. Join our search teams in
Arkansas for a first-hand look at the habitat where
ivory-bills have been sighted and for a chance to see
the bird yourself! 
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon Arkansas
are seeking volunteers to help search for Ivory-billed
Woodpeckers in eastern Arkansas between December 5,
2005, and April 23, 2006. Volunteers will aid our
full-time field biologists in staffing numerous
observation stations in the Cache River and White
River National Wildlife Refuges, gaining admission to
managed areas under our special use permits. We have
divided the field season into eight two-week blocks
and will accept up to fourteen volunteers in any
block. Start dates within a block are not negotiable
because we would like all new volunteers to start as a
cohort on a specified date. Ending dates beyond the
two-week minimum are flexible. Volunteers will receive
training in search techniques, welfare considerations
for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, data collection,
equipment use, safety concerns, and basic natural
history of the local ecosystem. Volunteers will learn
the area by participating in field trips and using our
GIS-based mapping system. Field conditions can be
difficult (though the ecosystem is truly beautiful),
with temperatures dipping below 32 degrees F in winter
and exceeding 85 degrees F in spring. Plan to spend
10-12 hours/day in a canoe or a blind with little
movement. 

Requirements:
• Minimum two-week commitment to begin on standardized
dates
• Strong birding skills 
• Dedication to finding a very elusive bird under
adverse field conditions 
• Strong boating skills
• 18 years of age or older 

*Please review Cornell’s Volunteer Agreement Form.
Each volunteer must sign this agreement before
participating in the search. This will be included in
the information packet that we send out in October to
selected volunteers. 

What we provide: 
• Lodging: Comfortable group living in local house
with 2.5 baths, 4 bedrooms, kitchen with 2 stoves and
2 refrigerators. Alternatively, there are several
hotel options in Brinkley, Arkansas (at your own
expense). 
• Field equipment: Canoes, paddles, life jackets, GPS
unit, video camera 
• Supervision/Training: Supervisor will live in group
housing and provide daily assignments/debriefing, help
with data collection and troubleshooting logistic
problems. 

What you provide:
• Travel to and from Cotton Plant, Arkansas 
• Binoculars 
• Field clothing: Must have camouflaged outer layer 
• Water bottles/thermos 
• Food 
• Waders (optional)
• Rubber boots 

To apply for a volunteer position we ask you to fill
out an application form. We will fill slots first
according to skill level and relevant experience;
remaining slots will be filled according to the order
in which applications were received, for those meeting
minimum requirements. We hope to accommodate all
interested parties, but we may not be able to do so if
we receive overwhelming numbers of applications. We
will respond to all applicants by late October via
email, so please make sure you include an accurate
email address on the form. 

Please click on the "Volunteer" link below, fill out
the electronic application form, and click "Submit" to
send the form to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Ivory-bill staff. 


Volunteer »

Thank you for your time and interest in this project.




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Larry Lade
Buchanan County
Saint Joseph, MO
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