Travel fellowship and a stipend for a licensed ringer at northeastern Turkey’s Aras River Ornithological Research Station, home to 302 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 September 1 and November 15, 2021 to ring birds at Aras River Ornithological Research Station in eastern Turkey where 302 bird species have been recorded and 201 species have been ringed. 122 bird species have been ringed in the spring 2020 season alone. In the past decade, 335 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 2 months is required. Candidates who can stay for the whole season are preferred and will be given a stipend of €2500 in addition to 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 302 bird species and ringed 201 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 

Prof. Cagan H. Sekercioglu
University of Utah
School of Biological Sciences 

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.302 bird species have been recorded and over 130,000 birds of 201 species have 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, Black-throated Thrush, 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 492 volunteers from 34 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.

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