Haparanda Sandskär Bird Observatory Welcomes Vounteers!

We're almost always looking for volunteers to help with ringing activities at Haparanda Sandskär. A typical team is made up of one ringer in charge, at least one experienced assistant, and one or two additional trainees.

You should contact us early if you're interested in a particular week. Some weeks are more popular than others and are booked before Christmas. To work as a ringer in charge, you need documented good knowledge of ringing. Assistants need experience in extracting birds from mist nets. If you don't have experience, you're welcome to volunteer as a trainee. Knowledge of birds and ringing comes quickly.

The observatory is open from mid-July to mid-October. Ringing is conducted on a daily basis during that period. Standardized ringing is carried out from 5 am to 11 am during the greater part of the field season.

Volunteers stay in a new cabin owned by the County Administrative Board. The cabin is located in Kumpula, by the island's harbour, and is equipped with eight beds, in four bedrooms, a gas stove, eith oven, two gas refrigerators with small freezers and solar panesl that provides electricity for the telephone, some lamps, and the station computer and Internet connection. Everyone is responsible for his or her own food (but it's common for staff members to coordinate their meal planning in advance).

Quite close to the cabin, there are two saunas that you are welcome to use for free as often as you wish (but you must chop your own firewood). There is a ringing hut at the ringing site.

The observatory pays for the boat trip between the mainland and Sandskär. There is usually one trip to and from Sandskär per week, usually on Saturdays, weather permitting. We cannot guarantee it will be possible to arrange for transportation on other days.

Most of the work at the observatory is voluntary, but for young people and in special cases, a small daily food allowance will be provided. Accomodation is free.

For information or to book one or more weeks, contact us. Addresses are found under the heading "Contact us."