Job vacancies x2: Osprey Project Assistant, Birds of Poole Harbour

The charity Birds of Poole Harbour is recruiting for two (paid!) Osprey Project Assistants.


An exceptional opportunity for a keen conservationist to get experience on a landmark Osprey translocation project in Poole Harbour. The role will include husbandry and monitoring of translocated chicks pre and post release.


Birds of Poole Harbour was founded in 2013 with three key objectives in place; to educate and promote bird conservation, preservation and observation in and around the Poole Harbour area.

Ospreys, which feed exclusively on fish, historically bred across the whole of Britain and NW Europe; but populations drastically declined in the Middle Ages and became extinct in England by the mid 1800’s. The five-year project looks to restore Ospreys to their former breeding grounds in the south of England where they used to have the local nickname “Mullet Hawk”. At the same time the project will provide an important stepping stone between breeding populations in Britain and northern France, with the aim of enhancing the long-term survival of the Western European population as a whole. The project is part of a wider conservation recovery plan of Osprey in Western Europe and the Mediterranean region and is being led by Birds of Poole Harbour, Scottish charity ‘The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation’ and local Poole based-business ‘Wildlife Windows’.

Translocation has proved a highly successful means by which to restore ospreys to areas from which they have been lost. The much-admired population at Rutland Water in the East Midlands was established by a pioneering translocation project in the late 1990s and similar work has since taken place in two regions of Spain as well as in Italy, Portugal and Switzerland.

This pan-European experience means that the Poole Harbour project, which will involve licensed collection of five/six-week old chicks from healthy, sustainable populations in Scotland, has the best-possible chance of success. Once collected the chicks will be safely brought down to Poole Harbour and held in large holding pens at a confidential site for just two – three weeks to acclimatize to their new home and prepare for their first flights. Once released they will continue to be provided with fresh fish on artificial nests, to replicate normal osprey behaviour, and so are likely to remain around Poole Harbour for a further five-six weeks (the normal post-fledging period) before beginning their long migration to West Africa. During this period the birds will imprint on the area and adopt Poole as their new home.

We are now in the third year of the project and seeking to recruit committed, responsible and diligent individuals to assist in the husbandry and monitoring of the birds during their time here in Poole Harbour.

Duration: 3 months, 1st July –30th Sept 2019

Working Hours: Full-time (40 hours per week) including weekend, early morning and evening hours.

Pay: Pro-rata £17, 000

Reports to: Osprey Project Officer and Head of Science and Operations.

Closing Date: 28th February

Interviews are expected to be held the week beginning 11th March.


The Osprey Project Assistants are expected to assist with:

  • Preparation of Osprey food – cutting fish
  • Feeding of Osprey chicks
  • Monitoring chicks via CCTV
  • Monitoring of fledged chicks using detection of radio transmitter signals and optical equipment
  • Collection of data on food consumption, chick development, behaviour and location
  • Data entry as per data collected above
  • Equipment, site and resources maintenance – cleaning food preparation area, re-stocking supplies
  • Supervision of volunteers

Person Specification

Full training will be provided for this role including food preparation, feeding, behavioural monitoring via CCTV and telemetry (yagi) and data recording.

Attribute Importance
Friendly and outgoing personality Essential
Attention to detail Essential
Dedicated and proactive attitude Essential
Ability to work as a team Essential
Physically fit Essential
Accurate data entry Essential
Volunteer management Desirable
Full clean driving licence and access to own vehicle Essential
Knowledge of animal husbandry or ecology, especially avian Desirable








If you think you could excel in this role, then please email Jobs@birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk with a CV and cover letter explaining why you think you’re suitable.

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