Travel fellowships for licensed ringers at northeastern Turkey’s Aras River Ornithological Research Station, home to 292 bird species

Eastern Turkey Bird Monitoring Project run by the University of Utah and KuzeyDoga Society will provide a fellowship to a licensed bird ringer with Palearctic experience between August 15 and November 15, 2019 to ring birds at Aras River Ornithological Research Station in eastern Turkey where 292 bird species have been recorded and 193 species have been ringed. In the past decade, 331 bird species have been recorded by our research team in the Igdir province. This fellowship will cover international and domestic airfares, as well as room and board at the Aras Research Station. A minimum time commitment of 6 weeks is required. Candidates who can stay for the whole season are preferred and will be given a stipend in addition to all of their expenses being covered. Applications are currently being accepted until the positions are filled. This is a particularly good position for those who are interested in ringing Western Palearctic rarities in eastern Turkey, as well as those interested in pursuing graduate studies in ornithology, avian ecology, conservation biology, environmental sciences and related fields.

Aras River is eastern Turkey’s richest wetland for birds. We have recorded 292 bird species and ringed 191 species since 2006. The ebird list is here and a full list is available upon request: Our ringing recoveries as well as satellite, GPS/GSM and geolocator tracking projects have shown that birds from dozens of countries on three continents breed, winter and stopover at Aras River wetlands.

To apply, please email a short letter of interest and summary of your ringing (banding) experience to, and 

Cagan H. Sekercioglu
Associate Professor

University of Utah
Department of Biology

Aras River Ornithological Research Station (950 m, 40º07’N, 043º35’E) is in a wetland by the Aras river and is surrounded by reeds and willows. Over 108,000 birds of 191 species ehave been ringed, including many Western Palearctic specialties and rarities such as Ruddy Shelduck, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Pallid Harrier, Booted Eagle, Little Crake, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, Great Snipe, Syrian Woodpecker, Citrine Wagtail, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Basra Reed Warbler, Caucasian Chiffchaff, Green Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Basra Reed Warbler, Sykes’s Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Menetrie’s Warbler, Barred Warbler, Siberian Stonechat, Finsch’s Wheatear, White-throated Irania, Red-throated Flycatcher, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Rose-colored Starling, Common Rosefinch, Pine Bunting, Little Bunting and Black-headed Bunting.

Until now over 382 volunteers from 33 different countries volunteered for KuzeyDoga Society’s fieldwork. The facilities at Aras are basic but comfortable, with a kitchen and hot shower. Accommodation at the Aras station will be provided in a house where a hot shower, kitchen, and washer are available. Volunteers are responsible for preparing the meals with supplies provided by KuzeyDoga.

At our station, you can also go hiking, birdwatching, look for butterflies, and dragonflies, watch the fall raptor migration, stargaze, ride horses and have exciting cultural experiences in the village. As a result of our multi-year efforts to protect and monitor the region’s bird diversity while benefiting local people from ecotourism, KuzeyDoga is the only NGO to receive from Princess Anne both 2008 and 2013 Whitley Gold Awards, UK’s most prestigious award for grassroots conservation.

1 Response

  1. Andy Ashley says:

    I’m a British bird ringer of 40 yrs experience I have been a qualified trainer for the best part of said years I have a wide variety of experience .seabirds waders passage migrant ringing on coast etc.
    I also spent a 2 month ringing (banding) at long point bird obs Canada
    I am thinking of travelling to turkey in 2021 (Hopefully) and wondered if there was anywhere that did bird ringing I would love to take part in any way
    Cheers Andy Ashley

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