Aviculture Internship - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Aviculture Internship

The International Crane Foundation is seeking to fill multiple Aviculture Internship positions for spring 2021.

Background: The International Crane Foundation is a leader in the conservation of the world’s 15 crane species and is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to cranes and the ecosystems vital to their long-term survival. The Foundation’s world headquarters is located just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin, one hour north of Madison. The International Crane Foundation exhibits the only collection of all 15 species of crane. The Foundation has a tentative plan to re-open for the 2021 visitor season in May.

The Crane Conservation Department (CCD) is responsible for the care and management of approximately 120 birds year-round. CCD Aviculture Interns assist the full-time staff in the daily management of the collection.

Duration: The six-month positions will start between March to May 2021.

Description: Aviculture Interns will gain valuable hands-on experience working with CCD and will:

  • Develop husbandry skills related to the daily cleaning and feeding of the flock.
  • Participate in the management of birds in captivity specifically for zoological institutions or reintroduction programs.
  • Assist with routine crane facility maintenance activities.
  • Learn and practice safe crane defense, handling and restraint techniques.
  • Conduct behavioral observations associated with breeding, chick-rearing or animal welfare assessments.
  • Acquire an understanding of captive propagation including some participation in artificial insemination, egg incubation and chick rearing.
  • Achieve experience planning, designing, implementing and evaluating a behavioral modification program (enrichment or training based).
  • Learn about International Crane Foundation project initiatives related to crane ecology, behavior and husbandry, field conservation and ecology, and ecosystem restoration techniques and processes.
  • As time allows, assist in the completion of one or several projects related to the goals, work plan and objectives of the CCD including summarizing those projects in a formal paper and presentation.

Additional opportunities may include:

  • Assist the Conservation Education Department with on-site visitor outreach through scheduled keeper chats.
  • Learn radio telemetry techniques and assist with tracking Whooping Crane adults.
  • Participation in releases of parent-reared Whooping Crane chicks.

A taxable $700/month stipend is provided. The position includes onsite housing. A typical work week is five days (40 to 50 hours) with two consecutive days off. Interns are required to work weekends and holidays.  Chick-rearing or field work responsibilities require non-traditional work hours which may include early mornings, evenings or night checks.


  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be able to commit to the six-month duration.
  • Two years of college or equivalent practical experience required. A four-year college degree or Associate degree in a relevant program preferred.
  • Six-months animal care experience with a focus in avian biology or zoo-keeping preferred.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment with minimal supervision.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Reliability, sound judgment and ability to master tasks and comprehend concepts quickly and correctly.
  • This position is physically demanding. Applicants must be able to carry 50 pounds and be able to lift, bend or stoop for extended lengths of time.
  • Ability to work outdoors every day in all weather conditions found in Wisconsin, but also indoors in an office environment.
  • Ability to work a varied schedule.
  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States at the time they apply.

 Application Procedure:  Applicants should send a one-page cover letter including start date availability, resume (no more than two pages), and contact information for three references to  [email protected]. Please use the subject line “CCD Aviculture Internship.”  Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted.