Volunteer

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Volunteer With Us

At Michigan Audubon, we believe every person can have a positive impact in protecting Michigan birds and bird habitat. One enjoyable way to have an impact on the environment is by volunteering at one of our bird sanctuaries, during an event, or at our headquarters in Lansing.

Ways You Can Help

Help Staff our Events

Michigan Audubon relies on volunteer help with off-site events such as Cranefest, Tawas Point Birding Festival, Cerulean Warbler Festival, Spring Fling and numerous activities held at our sanctuaries throughout the year. If you live near our event locations or enjoy the travel, please consider helping our events run smoothly. Event duties include:

  • Event organization
  • Birding leaders
  • Bookstore
    • Selling merchandise
    • Set-up/Break-down
  • Registration table
  • Information Booth/Table
  • Event photographer
  • Activity/Craft leader
  • Participant survey
  • Site maintenance

Become a Sanctuary Steward

Each of the 18 sanctuaries across the state is maintained by individual volunteer stewards or stewardship groups. There are about 100-150 volunteers working to manage the sites by participating in periodic work bees to maintain trails, control invasive species, and support other management activities at Michigan Audubon sanctuaries. Some sanctuary volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Native plant gardening
  • Seasonal bird surveys
  • Breeding bird surveys
  • Botany surveys
  • Butterfly surveys
  • Bird nest box monitoring
  • Structure construction
  • Trail maintenance
  • Naturalist (leading nature walks, presenting programs)

If you are interested in becoming more involved with your local Michigan Audubon sanctuary, please fill out our Stewardship Volunteer Application. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Be a Bird Count Compiler

There are also hundreds of citizen scientists that gather bird data throughout the state. These volunteers collect data that is compiled and reported in Michigan Audubon’s science journal Michigan Birds and Natural History and contributes greatly to our ability to track bird populations and their breeding and migration activities.

Help at our Office

Volunteers help maintain operational functions in the Okemos headquarters on a weekly basis. Here are some of the specific areas where we need help:

  • Data Entry
  • Website Updating
  • Processing mailings
  • Processing event registration materials
  • Special projects
  • Bookstore
  • Outgoing order processing
  • Incoming order processing
  • Bi-annual Inventory
  • Packing for events

Monitor Birds on our Sanctuaries

If you’re an experienced birder who is adept at identifying most Michigan birds by sight and call, consider becoming a volunteer bird surveyor. These surveys are critical to understanding which species use our sanctuaries for migrating, breeding, or over-wintering. Birds are monitored at our sanctuaries via 10-minute point count surveys conducted at specific locations and at regular intervals. Surveyors can sign up for year-round (5 times a year) or breeding season (3 times during summer) surveys. Survey routes vary in length and terrain difficulty, but most routes are roughly 1 mile, each way. No experience is necessary as long as you’re willing to learn.

Minimum 2 year commitment preferred.

To sign up to monitor birds on our sanctuaries, please fill out our Stewardship Volunteer Application. For more information, please contact Rachelle Roake at RRoake@michiganaudubon.org.

Volunteer at the Capital City Bird Sanctuary at Hawk Valley Farm

Capital City Bird Sanctuary is located in Lansing, MI and has a dedicated volunteer group. If you’re in the Lansing area and want to give back to the local birds, please consider joining us. We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, including:

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Native plant gardening
  • Seasonal bird surveys
  • Breeding bird surveys
  • Botany surveys
  • Butterfly surveys
  • Bird nest box monitoring
  • Structure construction
  • Trail maintenance
  • Naturalist (leading nature walks, presenting programs)

Volunteer stewardship workdays are Wednesdays May – October as well as 2nd and 4th Saturdays June – August from 9am – 12pm. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, Michigan Audubon staff and volunteers gather to remove invasive plants that threaten habitat health at our Lansing sanctuary. Tasks vary by season, but typically range from hand-pulling weeds to hand-sawing invasive shrubs. Think of these workdays as “extreme gardening” – these are mildly strenuous workdays that involve hiking around the sanctuary and manually removing invasive weeds, often in challenging locations. A good workout is guaranteed!

Wild raspberries, poison ivy, and biting insects are common so please dress appropriately with close-toed boots, long sleeves, pants, and a hat. Insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended and we will have extras available. If you are allergic to stinging insects, please bring an EpiPen and inform the event leader. Please bring gardening or leather gloves if you have them, but we do have extras on site to borrow. As always, we will provide water and snacks!

If you would like to sign up to volunteer at Capital City Bird Sanctuary, please fill out our Stewardship Volunteer Application. For more information, please contact Rachelle Roake at RRoake@michiganaudubon.org.

 

Help from Home

You can help Michigan Audubon right from the comfort of your own home! We need help with the following:

  • Magazine editing
  • Evaluation processing
  • Special projects
  • Social Network updating

We welcome volunteers with all types of skills, from office help to field research and monitoring. Please visit our contact page to contact us if you would like to volunteer as there are many opportunities that may not be listed on our website.