As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 12 July 2018

Volunteers wanted for rare bird study on isolated N.S. islands

Applicants must be prepared for long hours, rustic accommodations, physical exertion and severe weather

Frances Willick · CBC News · Posted: Jul 03, 2018 12:00 PM AT | Last Updated: July 3

It could be a trip of a lifetime or your worst nightmare: being stuck on an isolated island for weeks at a time with no running water or electricity, rustic shared accommodations and potential exposure to extreme weather.

The volunteer application for a study on rare birds warns applicants of the position's challenges: "If you cannot take isolation, communal living, long hours, physical exertion, bugs, the heat, the cold, irregular supplies of fresh food, or primitive working conditions, this may not be the right job for you."

Researchers from Oxford University and Acadia University are travelling to Seal Island and Bon Portage Island to study why rare birds end up off the coast of mainland Nova Scotia and whether they make it back to their fall migration destinations.

Lucinda Zawadzki, a PhD student at Oxford, explains that since rare birds are by definition infrequent visitors, "nobody really has an understanding of why or how they get here."

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