Avian Keeper Internship

Job Title: Avian Keeper Intern

Work Location: This position is located at the Carolina Raptor Center Hospital building, located at 6000 Sample Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078. It requires reliable transportation to commute.

Purpose of Position: The purpose of our Avian Keeper Intern is to work closely with resident bird care staff to learn about husbandry, training, and education. Interns will help care for our avian ambassadors by preparing diets, distributing food, and cleaning enclosures. They will also learn positive reinforcement training techniques and present keeper chats to our visitors to connect the public to the natural world.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Assist staff with opening and closing procedures
  • Basic care of birds of prey
  • Diet preparation (including supplements/medications)
  • Diet distribution
  • Record keeping
  • General cleaning duties
  • Caretaking for ambassador birds, which includes getting voluntary weights, disinfecting and cleaning enclosures, changing water dishes
  • Observing and recording various bird behaviors
  • Assist with creating, distributing, and recording behavior-based enrichment
  • Learning application of techniques used in positive reinforcement training strategies
  • Training and maintaining behaviors for husbandry purposes
  • Training and maintaining behaviors for educational purposes
  • Conducting keeper talks for a variety of audiences


This position best suits individual with the following:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs.
  • Can work self-guided and with others
  • Ability to work with people from all backgrounds
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Must be able to positively interact with members of the public
  • Follow instructions, both written and verbal
  • Can work outside in all weather conditions
  • Willingness to speak up and ask questions

Commitment Expectations: This is an unpaid position. Interns are required to work at least five days per week and able to work any day of the week. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays.

Training: New interns will receive general volunteer onboarding training with our Volunteer Manager, including a scavenger hunt and on-site onboarding training. In addition, there will be hospital specific training on the day of onboarding training where you will learn the following skills:

  • Using a scale
  • Introduction to the computer program, RaptorMed
  • Bird behavior

Additional hands-on training will begin on your first day and continue throughout your first two weeks. Throughout the internship you will also be provided the following classes:

  • Anatomy of Raptors
  • Common Injuries and Signs of Illness
  • Health Examinations and Beak Coping
  • Foot and Beak Care
  • Basics of Bird Behavior
  • Raptor Training Techniques

Other Requirements: You will need to pass a background check before starting, provided through Priority Background Information Solutions. A tetanus shot is highly recommended.

Email resumes and cover letters to: mschaffer@carolinaraptorcenter.org