FAQ for Wildlife Researchers
I have the flexibility and experience to help you with a bird project most anywhere in the world. I can be on-site to perform surgery, bringing everything necessary or making the necessary logistical arrangements to get supplies there.
Dr. Ford is board certified in avian medicine and surgery by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He's also one of the most experienced remote field surgeons when it comes to wild bird research projects. As of 2023, he's surgically implanted over 700 transmitters in 25 different species of wild birds. Most of these were in remote areas of North America. He brings the best skill and experience to your field project.
Where We Go
Wildlife research happens where the wildlife is. Working in remote environments and getting stuff there is a challenge that we handle regularly. Dr. Ford has deployed to areas close to home and in remote camps in the high arctic. He’s performed surgery in tents, cabins, garages, kitchen tables, and sometimes even in cushy clinical settings. Whatever the circumstances, he can get there and get the work done safely and reliably.
What We Do
Our most common role is to provide surgical services for implanting intracoelomic transmitters in water birds such as loons, ducks, and geese. We also take on other support roles such as examinations and health certificates for bird transport, training personnel in venipuncture, or preparing transmitters for others to implant.
What We Provide
We typically provide everything needed for surgery and medical care. This includes sedatives for field use at capture, analgesics, anesthesia, and surgical instruments and supplies. If you provide transmitters in advance, we can prepare them for you. PTT preparation includes application of internal attachment mesh, antenna collar, testing, and gas sterilization. We also include pre-printed adhesive labels with each PTT to simplify documentation of deployments in the field. Our primary anesthesia is isoflurane gas in oxygen, considered widely to be the safest mode of general anesthesia for a wide variety of birds. We also provide copies of our protocols, which have been reviewed by various Animal Care and Use Committees and should be compatible with your institutional policies. Whatever you need for ethical, compassionate care of your study subjects, we will do our best to provide.
What You Provide
In typical projects, you will only need to supply the transmitters (if this is an implantation project), a surgery location that affords protection from the weather, a clean surface to work on, clean water, and crates for transporting and recovering the birds. Travel, lodging, and gear shipment are also expenses that the client covers.
Price Estimates and Scheduling
Contact me for an estimate but typical prices are $700/day for services, $30/unit for PTT preparation, and $50/surgery for supplies. If you’d like to check availability for a project or have further questions, please click the button below and fill out a quote request. In most cases, you’ll get a response within 72 hours.