Avian Keeper Internship

Care for the Raptors We All Love

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2018 INTERNSHIPS. Deadline for summer application: March 1st 

Dates of internship: May 1st – September 1st (flexible dependent on student’s schedule) 

General Overview:

Avian Keeper Interns work hands on with our bird collection staff to learn about husbandry, training, and education.  Interns will help care for and train the avian collection at Carolina Raptor Center to aid in our mission to inspire guests to further our conservation messaging. 

Education, Experience and Skills: 

  • Current college student or recent graduate – biology, zoology, psychology, or other science related field preferred 
  • Ability to show initiative, and work as a team as well as independently 
  • Would like to have a career in the animal/conservation field 

Additional Requirements:

  • At least 18 years old 
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs 
  • Comfortable working indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions 
  • Able to work any day of the week 
  • Must be able to positively interact with members of the public 
  • Must speak fluent English 
  • Work at least four days/week (summer session) which will include weekends 

Intern Duties (may include but not limited to): 


  • Assist staff with opening and closing procedures 
  • Basic care of raptors and maintenance of enclosures  
    • Diet preparation (including supplements/medications) 
    • Diet distribution 
  • Repairing perches and maintaining enclosures to federal standards 
  • Record keeping 
  • General cleaning duties


  • Assisting with health examinations of collection
    • Grabbing and handling birds for medical exams
    • Learning how to conduct physical exams on birds of prey
    • Beak coping
  • Caretaking for (2) educational birds which includes:
    • Getting voluntary weights on selected birds
    • Disinfecting and cleaning of mews
    • Changing water dishes
  • Observing various bird behaviors
  • Creating and distributing enrichment


  • Learning application of techniques used in positive reinforcement
  • Training and maintaining behaviors for educational purposes (live bird presentations/vulture feedings/keeper talks/flight shows).
  • Training behaviors for husbandry/medical purposes


  • Learn how to effectively communicate conservation messaging and natural history of birds to audiences
  • Conducting Keeper Talks for the general public on a weekly basis
  • Participating in the Flight Show:
    • Loading birds into kennels/proper enclosures
    • Releasing birds from release points
    • Calling birds to respective perches etc. in amphitheater

Classes taught to interns:

  • Natural History/Overview of raptors and birds of prey
  • External Anatomy of Raptors
  • Common Injuries and Signs of Illness
  • Health Examinations and Beak Coping
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Raptor Handling
  • Presentation Class
  • Managing the Message

Application Process

Submit a resume, cover letter, and references to Kristin Dean, Husbandry and Acquisition Manager.