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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Fish & Wildlife : Shorebirds

Get Involved!: How to Volunteer


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“Just got back from the beach. A bit windy, and just before high tide. Along the sandy part of the beach were a lot of sanderlings and a few turnstone. But about 150 yards north, just about where the peat begins to cover the sand, were large groups of sanderling (100+) and turnstone mixed and, further up, another large group of dunlin and turnstone feeding. Most interesting, a lot of turnstone were feeding just above the beach in the dried grass. No flags on any of the turnstone.”
- Jerry and Sharon Goldsmith, local volunteers

Join the Shorebird Listserv for regular updates during the season and throughout the year. Just send a blank email to: and you'll be signed-up!

Volunteers with nettingVolunteers are integral to so many aspects of the Delaware Shorebird Project. In fact, the success of our work depends on volunteers. From forming flags, to weighing, measuring and banding birds, to "resighting" flagged birds, to cooking meals  volunteers at every experience level help make the field season run smoothly. We're working to train and build a local volunteer community to join us each year for exciting research opportunities! Please join us and lend a hand with this critical conservation effort. Our success depends on you!

What Do Volunteers Do?
During the field season (which runs approximately from May 5 - June 5) volunteers are expected to give at least three consecutive days of service. Activities include involvement in our catching and banding efforts and resighting for individually marked birds. The team is also involved in entering and checking data into a computer or helping to repair or sort equipment. We also welcome talents such as public speaking, teaching or photography.

Prepare to Monitor the Migration
If you plan on volunteering, please review the following training modules to learn new concepts and techniques or to just refresh your memory. 

Species ID Modules (1 - 8)Click here to volunteer!

Resighting Module

Cannon-Netting Module

Volunteer with shorebird    
What to Bring
     - Hat
     - Bug spray
     - Long sleeved, lightweight shirt/long pants (for biting insects)
     - Rain gear
     - Binoculars and/or spotting scope
     - Sunglasses 
     - Sunscreen
     - Jacket/sweatshirt
     - Boots and/or hip waders
     - Bottled water
     - Snacks

Laboratory Volunteers

What we provide
During the field season, breakfast, lunch, snacks and communal dinners are available for all volunteers at our research headquarters. Limited space for relaxing, eating and sleeping is also available for those volunteering over meal times and multiple days.

What’s in it for you?
Volunteers for the Delaware Shorebird Project have the rare opportunity to work side-by-side with research scientists and professional ornithologists and volunteers from around the world. This interaction and hands-on involvement offers an exceptional opportunity for learning about shorebird conservation and gaining skills in catching, handling, measuring and banding shorebirds. DSP Volunteers also gain opportunities for resume-building, recommendations and experience for careers in the conservation science field.        

For more information, contact Henrietta Bellman at 302-735-3612 or email

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