Avian Education and Keeper Internship

Dates of internship:

Fall/Spring: Sep – May
Deadline for application for Fall/Spring internship: Aug 1 - OR UNTIL POSITION IS FILLED

Summer: May – Sep
Deadline for application for Summer internship: Feb 15.

Schedule is flexible and dependent on student’s schedule.
Housing is unfortunately not provided at this time.

General Overview:

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

Education, Experience and Skills: 

  • Current college student or recent graduate – biology, zoology, psychology, or other science related field preferred 
     ○ Biology, zoology, psychology, or other science related field preferred
  • Ability to show initiative, and work as a team as well as independently 
  • Pursuing a career in animal, conservation, or education fields

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 
  • Must be comfortable and confident speaking in front of large groups of all ages
  • Must work at least four days/week (summer session), including weekends and holidays

Intern Duties (may include but not limited to): 


  • 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
  • Occasionally assist with perching and cage maintenance to comply with federal standards


  • Caretaking for ambassador birds, which includes
    • Getting voluntary weights on selected birds
    • Disinfecting and cleaning of mews
    • Changing water dishes
  • Observing various bird behaviors


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


  • Learning to assist and present education programs using live birds of prey
  • Working with summer camp interns to present educational activities to summer campers
  • Assisting and leading docent activities
  • Assisting education staff as needed
  • Conducting educational programs and keeper talks for a variety of audiences
  • Participating in the Summer Bird Show
    • Loading birds into kennels/proper enclosures
    • Releasing birds from release points
    • Calling birds to respective perches etc. in amphitheater
    • Possible speaking role

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 and Bird of Prey Handling
  • Presentation Class
  • Managing the Message

Application Process

Submit a resume, cover letter, and references to Colleen Roddick, Training Coordinator.