Internship Programs at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center

Our 3-month internship programs are designed for people with varied qualifications who want to work in the realm of wildlife conservation in the Florida Keys. The diversity of wildlife in the Upper Keys creates a great opportunity for interns to work with a wide variety of species of birds. Our team works primarily with waterbirds including brown pelicans, cormorants, gulls, terns, and herons, but there is a bit of seasonal variability. These programs are built to be both working and learning experiences. Shared housing is provided to all interns along with a bi-weekly stipend.

You can visit our past interns page to learn more about the experiences shared by some of our most recent interns, and you can visit our current interns page to meet our current team members.

We offer three different internship programs; Avian Hospital Internships, Avian Sanctuary Internships, and Environmental Education Internships.
Click the tabs below to learn more about our three different internship programs.

  • Avian Hospital Internship

    Avian Hospital Internship

    Position Description
    Hospital interns are given an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about how a wildlife rehabilitation clinic operates. FKWBC hospital interns work under the guidance of our expert, certified wildlife rehabilitation staff to assist with daily tasks including rescuing wildlife, caring for avian patients, maintaining our hospital, and so much more!

    Responsibilities
    • Daily cleaning and feeding of Hospital patients including scrubbing cages, perches, outside aviaries, and preparing a wide variety of diets.
    • Keeping up with hospital cleanliness by sweeping and mopping, scrubbing floors and walls as well as other cleaning activities as necessary.
    • Administering medications and fluid therapy to hospital patients.
    • Helping staff with wound care, blood work, fecals, x-rays laser therapy and other medical procedures.
    • Bird rescues, intakes and releases.
    • Maintain detailed and updated reports on hospital patients.
    • Partake in after-hours bird rescue calls.
    • Perform other duties as assigned by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager.

    Immediate Supervisor
    Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager

    Qualifications
    • Thrives in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Basic computer, telephone, data collection and data filing skills.
    • Experience handling animals is preferable, but not required.
    • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
    • Ability to pick up and carry 50 pounds, possibly into and out of vehicles.
    • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors despite poor weather conditions.
    • The FKWBC’s two properties are smoke-free zones; able to respect the smoke-free zones.

    Scheduling Commitment
    Hospital interns typically work a standard 5-day, 40-hour work week which includes making after-hours/on-call bird rescues when needed.

  • Avian Sanctuary Internship

    Avian Sanctuary Internship

    Position Description
    Sanctuary interns master the art of animal husbandry while caring for over 100 non-releasable birds (including more than 30 different species) that call the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary their home. Working as a sanctuary intern with the FKWBC is a great opportunity to gain experience caring for animals in captivity.

    Responsibilities
    • Daily bird husbandry of permanent sanctuary residents including feeding, cleaning, observing behavior, enclosure inspections, replacing/cleaning perches, washing dishes, and more.
    • Picking up donated fish from local marine centers and sifting fish for quality.
    • Helping with regular clean up of facility including scrubbing the boardwalk to trimming vegetation.
    • Assist in bird rescues, intakes, and releases.
    • Feeding and cleaning rehabilitation patients in medical cages and flight cage with occasional weighing patients and assessing condition.
    • Organize and look after enrichment for the sanctuary residents.
    • Help with any educational events (ex: sanctuary tours, field trips) as needed.
    • Perform other duties as assigned by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager.

    Immediate Supervisor
    Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager

    Qualifications
    • Thrives in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Experience handling animals is preferable, but not required.
    • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
    • Ability to pick up and carry 50 pounds, possibly into and out of vehicles.
    • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors despite poor weather conditions.
    • The FKWBC’s two properties are smoke-free zones; able to respect the smoke-free zones.

    Scheduling Commitment
    Sanctuary interns typically work a standard 5-day, 40-hour work week which includes making after-hours/on-call bird rescues when needed.

  • Environmental Education Internship

    Environmental Education Internship

    Position Description
    A big part of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s mission is to educate the public about how to become a better steward of the environment. Our environmental education interns help our team to achieve this goal by aiding with community outreach events, school programs, social media campaigns, and ground-level stewardship efforts. Whether it means helping to film the release of a rehabilitated osprey, leading an owl pellet dissection lab for students, or giving a tour of our Wild Bird Sanctuary, environmental education interns are given a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the preservation of the natural world while honing their teaching skill set.

    Responsibilities
    • Lead tours of the FKWBC facilities and other traveling programs under the guidance of the Education Coordinator.
    • Work with the Education Coordinator to create new education program curricula.
    • Work with FKWBC volunteers on various projects including facilities maintenance, acting as a docent, and gift shop sales.
    • Aid in the promotion and execution of special events including fundraisers, community outreach events, festivals, and after-school events via social media and other methods.
    • Assist in the collection, treatment, and analysis of data used to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and the Education Team itself.
    • Completion of a personal project involving environmental education that is permanent and beneficial to the FKWBC’s educational efforts.
    • Assist with acquiring and treating digital media (photos and videos) focusing on patient intakes, treatments, and releases.
    • Assist with the maintenance of FKWBC social media platforms including the FKWBC website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
    • Compose no fewer than one blog entry per month to be added to the FKWBC website as well as the FKWBC’s printed newsletter, Footprints.
    • Assist the wildlife rehabilitation team when needed.
    • Perform other duties as assigned by the Education Coordinator.

    Immediate Supervisor
    Education Coordinator

    Qualifications
    • Working towards or completed Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences, education, or a similar field.
    • Experience in environmental education that includes bird focused programs is preferred, but not required.
    • Experience working with live animals during educational programs is preferred, but not required.
    • Ability to work with other staff to glove-train non-releasable raptors to be used for education purposes.
    • Extensive and growing knowledge of ecological principles, and ability to quickly master South Florida ecology.
    • Ability to teach at all age levels including pre-school, elementary, middle, secondary, post-secondary, and seniors.
    • Ability to learn and understand basic medical terminology, avian physiology and anatomy.
    • Ability to use social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others.
    • Thrives in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Basic computer, telephone, data collection and data filing skills.
    • Possess great time management skills with the ability to plan, organize, and multitask.
    • Self-motivated, confident and disciplined with excellent work ethic.
    • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
    • Ability to pick up and carry 50 pounds, possibly into and out of vehicles.
    • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors despite poor weather conditions.
    • The FKWBC’s two properties are smoke-free zones; able to respect the smoke-free zones.
    • Ability adapt to a changing work schedule to accommodate events that occur on weekends and holidays.

    Scheduling Commitment
    Education interns typically work a standard 5-day, 40-hour work week. Education interns are not give on-call bird rescue duties, but may be asked to assist with rescues in certain situations.

 

Apply Now

For more information, or if you have any question about internships at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center and would like to apply, please complete our Internships Application, downloadable by clicking the button below, and email it to:

Kayla Gainer: kayla@keepthemflying.org

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Internship Application