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Avian Internship at Puget Sound Wildcare

This is an opportunity to learn how to rear wild birds successfully from hatch to fledge to release. For someone with an interest in wild birds, this internship will show you a window into wildlife that even the best biology internships can’t touch. We receive a wide array of birds from the public every year ranging from songbirds to waterfowl to raptors and everything in between.  This is the kind of hands-on learning for which there is not classroom substitute!  However, basic knowledge of ornithology provides the basis from which this position grows.  
We are looking for the people who will matriculate onward to decide public policy, regulate wildlife conservation, or even those continuing with rehabilitation. We feel it is critical for those people to have this kind of contact with the wildlife early in their careers so that they can truly understand that which they will someday regulate, study professionally, or preserve.


 Job Duties:   

  • Extensive husbandry tasks:  monitor eggs brought in by the public, incubate and hatch wild bird eggs, do physical exams, maintain housing (e.g., cleaning), hand feed, prepare and offer specialized food items, and give medications as needed for a variety of avian  patients. 

  • Track the progress of the patients by doing daily weights and some intermittent blood testing. Writing records and posting up individual orders for animals are a critical part of this job. Move birds as they grow into outside caging and allow them to develop life skills required for life after release. Make sure they are waterproofed (we live in a rain forest).

  • Work with the public to get birds returned to areas where they were acquired. 

Interns will receive hands-on training and are also required to complete online coursework. All interns will be trained on all species.


Abilities and experience required:

  • Patience — raising hatchlings can be repetitive and requires a lot of patience!

  • Attention to detail  — detailed records are essential in this field.

  • Communication and interpersonal skills — interns interface with volunteers who often bring foster neonates in for weights, check-ups, and for matriculation into outside caging. Interns also help with intakes (people bringing in found wildlife).

  • Ability to handle death — wild birds eat all manner of things and we do raise some of them as food or recycle some patients who die in rehabilitation. Interns may care for quail or mice that are euthanized and used as food, or are used as live food (prey). Taking this job requires the ability to work with both predator and prey species. 

  • Ability to deal with stress — interns work in an intensive, pressure-filled but learning rich environment. Stress is balanced by joy as you learn things about wildlife that no book will teach you. 

  • Willingness to clean — we have no animal maid service, interns ensure birds are clean. This takes focus. Cleanliness keeps disease at bay. 

  • Leadership — interns supervise volunteers on animal care protocols.

  • Time management — this is critical to ensure everything gets done...we can be very busy!

  • English — Multilingual skills are welcome! However, we mainly speak English so that is a necessity.

Terms of Internship:

  • A three-month commitment (480 hours) is required. 

  • Flexible scheduling with other interns at the center allows for days off or illness.

  • We make monthly schedules so you become a pillar of our efforts. Interns are not “extra help” in the summer.  

  • Interns need to be able to provide transportation to get to our site.

  • Interns need to have a place to live.  We presently do not have housing.

  • Minimum age is 18 and generally a little older is better.

  • Summer shifts in the late spring and summer generally last until 9 pm. Interns can be scheduled for either an early shift or for a later shift.  You will be tired but learn so much you will be amazed.

Post-graduate Internship Perks:

  • You will never forget all the intimate things you learned working with native wildlife, some of which will become extinct in your lifetime. 

  • If you give us your all, we will give you a letter of recommendation that reflects that effort. We enjoy seeing where our interns matriculate. 

  • You become an alum of a special group of people who have access to animals in a way not possible interning at zoological gardens or nature parks. These internships involve total contact. You will experience disaster and death along with success and release. What we do reflects the randomness of nature. 

  • We are looking for the people who will matriculate onward to decide public policy or regulate wildlife conservation because we feel it is critical for those people to have wildlife experience early in their careers.

Application Process:

Please email or mail us:

  1. Your resume.

  2. Copy of your college coursework (transcripts).

  3. A letter stating your present goals for your career and you expectations for the internship (i.e., how it will help you reach your goals). 

  4. Please detail any abilities you may have for statistical analysis, professional data analysis, or contribution to research efforts at college. 


© 2016 by Puget Sound Wildcare. Proudly created with

Puget Sound Wildcare

(360) 886-8917

28727 216th Ave SE Kent, WA 98042

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