Thanks for visiting the coastal volunteer page, where you can browse current volunteer opportunities available through the Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program (ALCBSP). You’ll find detailed season-specific volunteer job positions or listings for upcoming volunteer training events below. Please click on the corresponding link to sign up.
Need additional information? Email the Coastal Coordinator.
Upcoming Volunteer Training Opportunities
Visit our Events calendar for our upcoming training opportunities: https://alaudubon.org/events/
Seasonal Volunteer Job Opportunities
Breeding Season Steward
As a Breeding Season Steward, you will be the eyes, ears, and voice for lower coastal Alabama’s beach-nesting birds. As least tern or black skimmer colonies develop, Stewards will set up stations adjacent to the colony and at the water’s edge where they will observe and record data, engage with the public by allowing them to view the birds through spotting scopes, and encourage the public to avoid sensitive nesting areas. Stewards will be trained by Alabama Audubon staff. Steward stations will consist of a beach buggy (for transport to the colony site), a beach umbrella, a spotting scope, and binoculars. Stewards should have the ability to walk and pull a buggy in the sand and be prepared to be on the beach during the hot summer months.
Winter Season Steward
As a Winter Season Steward, you will be the eyes, ears, and voice for migrating and wintering coastal birds. Stewards will work to reduce human disturbance at important foraging and loafing areas. They will also educate beachgoers about the importance of wintering habitat for coastal birds. Stewards will be trained by Alabama Audubon staff on coastal bird ID, bird biology and behavior, and how to engage with the public. Steward stations will consist of a beach buggy (for transport to the colony site), a beach umbrella, a spotting scope, and binoculars. Stewards should have the ability to walk and pull a buggy in the sand.
Audubon Coastal Bird Surveys
The Audubon Coastal Bird Survey Program (ACBS) is a volunteer-based citizen science program designed to provide scientists with valuable data for addressing conservation needs of coastal waterbirds that breed, winter and migrate along the Gulf Coast. The program was originally created in response to the BP oil spill, is already providing valuable population and habitat-use data for a variety of coastal waterbirds, many of which are experiencing population declines. There are 13 survey locations across Mobile and Baldwin counties that require monitoring during the spring, fall, and winter. Trained volunteers will walk these linear transects (typically one mile in length) and record all birds observed there, along with data on habitat conditions during the survey. Ideally, volunteers should come with a baseline knowledge of coastal birds but will also have training opportunities and significant resources to help them be effective. Volunteers should have the ability to walk at least two miles along the beach in the early morning hours while observing the birds and habitat surrounding them.
Outreach & Education Volunteer
Outreach volunteers will help facilitate the program’s objectives by participating in local and regional events, festivals, presentations, and birding trips throughout coastal Alabama. (eg; Alabama Coastal BirdFest, Mobile Bay Earth Day, etc.). Volunteers will assist staff at these events by helping to engage the public and by providing resources and information about our coastal work. They may also help staff prepare or assist with any hands-on activities or outreach.
Field volunteers will work closely with the Alabama Audubon Coastal Biologists to install symbolic fencing and signage around colonies in a timely manner to minimize disturbance at or near active nests. This position will require more detailed training to perform technical work such as re-sighting color bands on birds, counting bird species, estimating colony sizes, and determining breeding-pair densities of plovers, terns, and skimmers. This critical and highly sensitive work will always be performed in the presence of an Alabama Audubon scientific staff member.