Practical wildlife survey skills training in Hungary: Working4Wildlife

A chance to practice your skills

Now that you are taking part in our Effective Camera Trapping or Effective Bird Identification course (or both!) we are able to offer you the opportunity to practice your wildlife survey skills in another country with funding from Erasmus+. You can take your camera and/or bird identification guide with you!

This 2-week mobility to the Barn Owl Foundation in Hungary offers more than the chance to practice your skills. It is an opportunity to explore the rich and varied wildlife of another country, working alongside professional staff to build your experience in wildlife identification, survey and communication.

Practical wildlife surveys in Hungary

Your Host Organisation in Hungary will be the Barn Owl Foundation. They are a Non Governmental Organisation established in 1997 with the aim of  embracing a wide spectrum of nature conservation and related social issues. Apart from the protection of endangered species and their habitats the Foundation is dedicated to tackling sectoral challenges around education, communication and employability in the environmental sector.  The BOF operates from a rural village 140 miles from Budapest and 15 miles from the magnificent Lake Balaton (Europes largest inland freshwater lake).  The BOF headquarters is a small holding with an orchard and many trees. From this base BOF is connected to many local areas rich in wildlife. It is in this context that you will continue to practice the skills you have acquired in the UK.

The European context

Are you looking for an opportunity to combine working for wildlife and travel to the EU? Want to spend some focused time with wildlife and like minded people?  We will add skills training and recognition into that package for you.  By undertaking one (or both) of our vocational training courses, Erasmus can then fund your mobility.

This immersive experiences will support your personal development and help your path into a career in nature conservation or other jobs.

Come and help us make a difference

Participant feedback

Joe said “We participated in surveys of Scops Owls, and an indicator species survey of Barred Warbler, Woodlark, Hoopoe, and Red-backed Shrike, We observed ringing of passerines and of Barn Owls. We visited a number of habitats in Western Hungary, including heathland, grassland, timber plantations, ancient woodland and wetland habitats.   I improved my knowledge of bird surveying techniques, particularly the use of recorded bird song and calls in such work along with my knowledge of bird song.” Rosie said “During the build up to Hungary, I was a nervous wreck. I was going away to a new country, with people with far more experience in conservation and natural sciences than myself. I’m a creative – what was I thinking doing something like this? All this worry was for nothing in the end, as those two weeks were beyond brilliant.”   You can read more in Rosie’s wonderful blog here

Task During Mobility

You will be working as part of a small team of 6 alongside the Barn Owl Foundation staff with an accompanying person from Ambios Ltd UK.Previous trainees have assisted with carrying out some or all of the following tasks: Barn Owls surveys including nest checks and chick ringing, night-time owl census, monitoring road kills and collecting owl carcasses for analysis, inputting data into a computer, collecting and analysing owl pellets, participating in activities of environmental education and publicity.  New projects include invertebrate sampling, baseline bird surveys of the various habitats and bat transect surveys to record species presence within the landscape as well as camera trapping mammal surveys.

2021 Host and Country

Please ensure you have paid for the UK course before you visit our Host/Country preferences link to tell us where you’d prefer to go. Please ensure you complete this form. We will have individual conversations with you should your first preference be oversubscribed.

Travel and Insurance


You will be given Euro275 from Erasmus+ towards your travel costs. You will be expected to investigate and ideally use low carbon travel options.  Previous trainees have taken the bus from London to Budapest (26hours).  The most important thing is that you arrive at the meeting point in Hungary on time. We will advise you of the exact meeting place nearer the time. If you are late you may miss the start of the mobility and we may require a return of Erasmus+  funds.


The project will continue Euro45 towards the cost of personal medical and equipment insurance cover which you must have in place (and a copy of the certificate must be with Ambios Ltd) before you go.


Food and accommodation

Accommodation (Bagoly House – Bagoly is the Hungarian for Owl!) is in and around a small rural cottage with basic yet comfortable shared sleeping accommodation with communal shower room and cooking facilities.  Caravan or tented accommodation within the ground of the rural cottage may also be used if the weather conditions are faviourable.  The unique rural and remote location of the accommodation provides us with an ideal place from which to explore the surrounding countryside.

Bagoly House Accommodation

Indicative content

Over the duration of the 2-week work based training with the Barn Owl Foundation the following areas of learning will be covered.

  • Orientation: country, district, town, village, garden and living space
  • Camera trap and bird surveys
  • Mammal and Bird identification skills practice and theory
  • Feather identification / Bird taxonomy / Bird song identification
  • Raptor surveys: e.g. White-tailed eagle, Marsh harrier, Buzzard, Hobby, Honey buzzard, Sparrowhawk
  • Owls and pellets: Barn Owl, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Pigmy Owl (if we are lucky!)
  • Using GIS for bird populations
  • Nest box building and box surveys
  • Bird ringing
  • Public engagement

Kit list: We recommend you take the following items:

We recommend you bring the following items:

  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • Good waterproof coat and trousers– please be aware that shorts are not a great idea for fieldwork and that you should consider bringing more than one pair of long trousers!
  • Sturdy walking boots
  • Slippers for around the accommodation
  • Wash kit
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic box for lunchtime food
  • Laptop or tablet (optional)
  • Mobile telephoneand charger
  • Adaptor from EU to UK electrics
  • Binoculars!
  • Pen, pencil and note book
  • Bird field guide – we recommend the Collins bird guide
  • Spending money
  • Camera (optional), with charger leads
  • Passport
  • EHIC card
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Sun cream, Sun hat, sun glasses
  • Mosquito repellent, bite and sting cream (just in case) and consider a head net or similar.

No need to bring:

  • Travellers pocket guide to Hungary – we have a dozen
  • Towels!



Before your trip we’ll have a Zoom meeting where you can:

  • Meet your fellow participants
  • Hear more about your host organisation and logistics
  • Discuss the kit list
  • See how the paperwork bit works
  • Understand how our system of support works

Post Mobility

Following your mobilities you’ll receive certificates from the Barn Owl Foundation and Europass.  Once you’ve completed the final part of your on-line learning and returned any equipment we have lent you, you’ll receive further recognition via an e-badge which can be shared on professional and social media.

How to Apply

Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To indicate your preference for Host country and cohort dates please follow this link to our Country and Dates preferences questions which can be found here.  We’ll then get in touch with you to move things forward.

Ambios Ltd are committed to protecting your personal data and working in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation. Will will never sell your data to anyone. Your data will be used for contacting you about this course and may be used to make you aware of other similar offers. You can opt out at any time via an email to with ‘Opt Out’ in the subject line.