Short-term volunteering


Roebuck Bay is one of the most important sites in the world for migratory shorebirds, which journey here from the northern hemisphere to feed on our rich mudflats. At the Broome Bird Observatory we want to keep it that way! Arguably the main threat that shorebirds face in our bay is disturbance. When shorebirds are disturbed, they take off together in large flocks, interrupting their resting periods and using up energy reserves. Some disturbance is natural, but human activities can cause extra disturbance that may be harmful to the birds.

So we can understand the extent of this problem, we are starting a project to determine how often shorebirds are disturbed in the bay, what causes this disturbance, and whether it happens more often than it did a decade ago. This is where we need your help! We will be watching shorebirds on the northern beaches of the bay twice a month until July 2020, for four hours around high tide. During these watches, we will record how often and how severely the birds are disturbed, and what causes each disturbance.

We need willing volunteers to help out with these watches so we can cover a representative area of five beaches. No previous experience of watching or counting shorebirds is necessary and we will provide training. All you need is enthusiasm and willingness to watch the birds and spend time along the beaches of the bay.

Please contact us on or 9193 5600 if you are interested in joining the team.



Banding shorebirds provides a huge amount of information about their migrations and life history. This information is vital for the protection and conservation of these species both here and abroad. Come and join ornithologists from the Global Flyway Network and local volunteers to help catch and band the birds in Roebuck Bay - an opportunity to see shorebird fieldwork in action and to learn more about the birds and our work. Please ensure you arrive on time and have closed shoes that can get wet, protection from the sun, adequate water and food. There is no need to book.

Dates and times for 2019

The 2019 cannon netting season has now finished. Please see below for reports of the successful catches. Keep an eye out for the 2020 schedule.

Sunday 16th June - 7:45 AM - Report

Sunday 23rd June - Midday - Report

Sunday 7th July - 11:30 AM - Report

Sunday 21st July - 11:00 AM - Catch unsuccessful

Sunday 18th August - CANCELLED

Sunday 15th September - 9:30 AM - Report

Saturday 28th September - 8:15 AM - Report

Saturday 5th October - CANCELLED

Sunday 13th October - 8:30 AM - Report

Sunday 20th October - Midday - Report

Sunday 27th October - CANCELLED


We require a person or couple to assist us with cleaning, maintenance and welcoming guests for one month at a time from March through to the end of October.

Campground host positions are available for March, July and August 2020 and all months in 2021. Campground hosts are provided with a powered campsite free of charge and free tours when space on our existing schedule allows.

For further details, or to apply, please contact us.


Broome Bird Observatory is a member of the Roebuck Bay Working Group. Throughout the year various volunteer activities are conducted in the bay such as seagrass, shorebird, and near-shore dolphin monitoring. Get involved and lend our internationally important wetland a helping hand!

Employment and long-term volunteering

For mid- to long-term volunteer/employment opportunities at the BBO, all the roles reside and work on site. Applicants will need to be able to work as part of a small team who undertake a broad range of duties necessary to ensure that guests experience the best visit possible – experience having shown that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. These are hands-on roles best suited to highly motivated self-starters, perhaps with previous experience in the hospitality/eco-tourism industry.

Excellent people skills will be needed to work positively with guests. Extreme climatic conditions (heat and humidity) can be experienced throughout the working day and evening, particularly in the wet season from November to April. Flexibility and initiative will be necessary to cope with the challenging work environment.

For the right people this is an exciting and rewarding opportunity – please contact the BBO if you think you have the ability to live in a remote location with basic conditions, and the skills, commitment and physical fitness that we are seeking.