International Crane Foundation



Title: Aviculturist

Reports To: Curator of Birds

Department: Crane Conservation (CCD)

FLSA Status: Exempt

Supervision: No

Position Summary:

The Aviculturist supports the mission of the International Crane Foundation by providing the highest standards of avian husbandry and supporting the day-to-day health and well-being of the captive flock.  The incumbent assists with breeding programs and education of interns, colleagues and special visitors.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform daily husbandry tasks, such as cleaning of crane pens, provision of clean water, and fresh food.
  • Observe crane behavior and maintain records for each bird, recording all breeding, health (including egg data, Al/cryogenics, chick rearing, medical logs, literature file, endangered species permits, and breeding loan agreements), and transfer data.
  • Facilitate communication through update of databases related to Crane Conservation Department activities and participate in planning sessions.
  • Participate in the captive propagation program through observations of crane breeding behavior, practicing artificial insemination, regulating diet, operating various incubator room techniques, pair socializations, rearing chicks on site and release sites (including working in a hooded crane costume), and behavioral enrichment.
  • Participate in management of birds in public display areas to support site visitor program and aviculture goals.
  • Assist Crane Conservation staff in training interns or visiting colleagues on aviculture techniques, small population management, and related issues.
  • Provide consultation to the Education Department, and other bird-rearing facilities in the U.S. and abroad.

Qualifications Required:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with an emphasis in biology, zoology or conservation related sciences. Experience working with captive population of birds.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to write effectively; drafting, proofreading and editing routine correspondence and reports in a clear, concise, logical, and grammatically-correct manner.
  • Ability to speak effectively before individuals and groups; listening effectively; responding well to questions from conservation colleagues and visitors.
  • Experience and comfort using Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Good organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize work and to work with others to meet designated deadlines and desired results.
  • Ability to identify problems; collect, organize, and analyze information, and make appropriate decisions or recommendations to resolve problems.
  • Acceptable valid state driver’s license.
  • Attentive to detail and thoroughness.
  • Ability to work the number and schedule of hours needed to accomplish regular and ad hoc job responsibilities, including weekends and holidays.
  • Work as a constructive member of a team, including the free sharing of information and technical expertise as needed.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity and ethically.
  • Quickly, effectively, and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes, and technologies.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Three years relevant experience in care and breeding of birds, including endangered species.
  • Experience with ZIMS/ARKS database software.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

The physical abilities and work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Occasional travel may be required, primarily in the United States.

  • Ability to use hands and fingers to type.
  • Ability to talk and hear.
  • Ability to see and read documents and computer screen.
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time.
  • Ability to walk for long periods of time.
  • Ability to reach, climb, balance, crouch, and kneel.
  • Ability to lift or move up to 50 lbs.; occasionally lifting 75 lbs. with assistance.
  • Ability to work outdoors under all weather conditions found in Wisconsin.


Compensation and Benefits: The International Crane Foundation offers a competitive salary and benefit package.

To apply:  Send a cover letter and resume to Kim Boardman, Curator of Birds.

ICF is an equal opportunity employer