Working4Wildlife: Bird ringing in Italy

Bird ringing, Ponza Island: Two trips: 21 March to 4 April or 4 April to 18 April

Your Host Organisation

The Research Centre on Bird Migration (CISCA) opened in 2002 on the Island of Ponza, situated in the Tyrrhenian sea on the west coast of Italy. The Center conducts research in collaboration with several Universities from across Europe.  Bird ringing activities are conducted according to scientific research methods with reference to ecophysiology and phenology of bird migration. The data are used for monitoring the status of and trends in European migrating bird populations and to evaluate the impact of climate change on bird migration.

The Research Center promotes key messages around nature conservation and offers training activities for visiting primary and secondary school children, as well as for university students from several countries. The lectures include a practical demonstration of bird ringing activity and theoretical lectures concerning the importance of conservation and research. More information on this webpage.

The mobility part of Working4Wildlife is totally funded by ERASMUS+


Participant feedback

Previous participants have said

“Most of the mobility was used for learning how to extract birds from mist nets in a safe way. As the mobility progressed, I gained confidence and skill in the extraction techniques and was able to deal with complicated cases with ease by the end.  We also learnt how to age and sex different species based on a variety of different characteristics.  … All of the above were skills I had started to acquire as a part of my t-permit, the mobility helped me to gain confidence and become much more competent with these skills in a short amount of time.  New skills I learnt whilst on this mobility include different grips and measurement techniques used by the Italian ringers and learning different ways of identifying sex and age in non-uk species.”

Tasks during mobility

Bird ringing and lots of it!   You will be working as part of a small team of 8 alongside both CISCA and Ambios Ltd UK bird ringing staff.  CISCA offers an amazing opportunity to focus on birds for two weeks of intensive activity including all the preparation, action and follow up around the main bird migration across Ponza island.  This is where you could see and be involved in ringing many hundreds of birds as well as a few public engagement activities that spread the word about biodiversity and nature conservation. If you are thinking of becoming a trainee bird ringer then the birds you ring on Ponza will count towards your license.

A one-day team visit to the stunning Zannone Island National Park* is also in the schedule + visits to local fish and pizza restaurants!

*Zannone National Park is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the west coast of Italy. The entire island is about 1 square kilometre (0.4 square miles) in size and about 10 km (6 mi) from Ponza Island. The island is uninhabited but supervised by the Forestry Service, which maintains a station on top of Monte Pellegrino, the highest point on the island, there are ruins of a Benedictine convent dating to the 13th century.

2020 dates and costs

Our vocational training Working4Wildlife on-line course which includes modules on bird identification, bird handling (ringing) and delivering live interpretation will begin on 23 March 2020 (and you can take up to 1 year to complete).  The cost of the course is £495 payable in 2 instalments, £200 & £295.

Being registered on our Working4Wildlife vocational training on-line course means Erasmus+ can fund the following cohorts to CISCA on Ponza Island.

There will be 2 visits in 2020 – both accompanied by Ambios Ltd staff

Cohort 1, 8 places: 21 March to 4 April

Cohort 2, 8 places: 4 April to 18 April

Deadline for applications is: 12noon Monday 2nd March 2020.  Early applications will be given preference.

Costs of the UK elements

The costs include:

  • Access to our on-line vocational learning materials
  • Support and vocational assessment while achieving your course*
  • Access to our Private Facebook Q&A Group with guest employers
  • E-badge employer recognition

*you have 1 year to complete the on-line learning

Erasmus+ pays for:

  • All transport (train/bus or flights) and onward travel to and from UK to EU host
  • Personal travel insurance for the EU mobility
  • All food and accommodation with your host
  • Support while on mobility

The above costs DO NOT include:

  • Travel to/from UK your point of departure from UK.
  • Personal spending money whilst in country


Travel and Insurance

We will investigate overall travel to mainland Italy and then there is a boat to Ponza Island.  We understand that some participants may wish to fly due to health or welfare needs, in which case please let us know and we will look into flights. However we travel, we will begin to offset the impacts via our tree planting scheme at Lower Sharpham Farm.

Successful applicants will be awarded an Erasmus+ financial contribution towards personal insurance. This must be purchased before the field trip and a copy of the insurance certificate supplied to Ambios Ltd prior to your departure.

Food and accommodation

Food (pasta, rice, couscous, eggs, conserved items – tuna, beans, leans, corn, peas – water, cleaning items, toilette paper, napkins, oil, salt, sugar, coffee, milk, biscuits, cheese, bacon, fruits and vegetables) is provided at the beginning of each week by the Research Centre and refilled as used. The Centre can provide gluten free pasta if needed (they just need to know in advance). Unfortunately, no gluten free bread is sold on the island, and therefore we suggest to bring it from home. Restaurants are also available for lunch and dinner.  One special team fish meal and one team pizza meal each week at a local restaurant are included in your package.

Accommodation is in shared rooms in a small villa overlooking the sea.  Each participant must bring their own bed sheets/sleeping bag and towels (see kit list below)

Kit list: We recommend you bring the following items:

  • Towel(s)
  • Head torchand spare batteries
  • Clothes for warm and cold weather
  • Warm hat & gloves
  • Good waterproof coat and trousers
  • Sturdy walking boots
  • Slippers for around the accommodation
  • Wash kit and toiletries
  • Spectacles/contact lenses
  • Personal medication
  • Books and other entertainments
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic box for lunchtime food
  • Watch/alarm clock
  • Laptop or tablet (optional)
  • Mobile telephoneand charger
  • Adaptor from EU to UK electrics
  • Binocularsif you have them
  • Pen, pencil and note book
  • Bird field guide – we recommend the Collins bird guide
  • Spending money – there are no cashpoints at our end of the island
  • Camera (optional), with charger leads
  • Passport
  • EHIC card
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Suncream
  • BTO permit – if you have one


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

  • Meet your fellow participants
  • Hear more about your host organisation and logistics
  • Discuss the kit list
  • Be introduced to your on-line learning environment
  • See how the paperwork bit works
  • Hear about the post-mobility Employers’ knowledge cafe
  • Understand how our system of support works

Post Mobility

Following your mobilities you’ll receive recognition from your hosts and a Europass.  Once you’ve completed the on-line learning you’ll receive further recognition via an e-badge.

You’ll also be invited to a final course get together in October at our farm in South Devon.

You can take up to 1 year from your date of registration to complete the on-line course.

How to Apply

To apply for the Working4Wildlife 2 week course, please fill in this application form. The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday 2nd March. Preference will be given to early applications. 


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.