Volunteers at Thunder Cape. Photo © Thunder Cape Bird Observatory

Volunteer at the Cape


Four or more staff and volunteers work at the station during the spring and fall migration periods. The spring season commences during the last week of April and runs until about June 7 with our autumn season running from August 1 until the end of October. The Observatory owns a small boat, which is used to bring supplies and volunteers out to the Cape from the closest road access at Silver Islet. Given notice, pick-up can be arranged from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

We offer isolation, communal living, long hours, physical exertion, insects, heat, cold, wind, irregular supplies of fresh food, primitive working conditions and laughter. These conditions are not ideal for everyone. If you thrive on exciting and challenging field conditions and have a passion for birds, wild storms, pristine habitats, and some of the best birding in North America we’d love to hear from you.

Volunteers are encouraged to provide a 3-4 week commitment. Room and board are supplied. Shorter stays are possible subject to availability where a fee of $17.50/day is charged to offset food and fuel expenses.

If you wish to apply for a volunteer position at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory, please copy and paste the following form into the body of an email and send it to Rinchen Boardman or Allan Harris.

Rinchen Boardman, Program Coordinator, Thunder Cape Bird Observatory

Allan Harris, Chair, Thunder Cape Bird Observatory Committee
c/o Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, P.O. Box 10037, Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7B 6T6,

Volunteer Position Application Form


Phone Number:
Mailing Address:
Are you 19 years of age or older:
Application for (X): ___Spring Migration (May 1 to June 11)
___Fall Migration (August 1 to October 30)
For which dates do you wish to be considered?
Arrival date_______________ Departure date__________________


I can identify a) <25%___ b) 25-50% ___c) 51-75%___ d) >75%___
of all of the species of birds which routinely occur in eastern North America (check one). 
How much, if any, previous experience with mist nets?
Any banding experience?
Any previous experience living at a field station, if so where and how long?
Any other ornithological field experience? Please describe.
Other field experience (non-ornithological)?
Other relevant work and/or volunteer experience? (Attach resume)


Do you intend to bring a vehicle?
Are you physically fit?
Are you prepared to walk 13km into or out of the station should lake conditions prevent the use of a boat when you wish to arrive or depart?
Do you have any medical conditions?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you have any special dietary needs?
Do you have good eyesight?
Are you prepared to share in daily routine household maintenance chores?
Are you prepared to share a bedroom with other volunteers?
Are you willing and able to live in a remote location, in rustic conditions (outhouse) with no email access?


Are you prepared to pay $17.50 per day should you volunteer for less than 3 weeks?
Where did you find out about TCBO volunteer positions?
Why do you want to volunteer at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory?
References (three people who know your work ethic and job skills) (include email and phone):