International Crane Foundation



The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is looking for a dedicated individual to join our Crane Conservation Department. Over the past 45 years, ICF has grown from the dream of two college students to a world-renowned conservation effort to save the world’s cranes and the flyways and habitats they frequent. Our Aviculturists assist in the care and husbandry of our captive flock of 100+ cranes. ICF is the only place in the world with all 15 species of cranes.

What is it like to work at ICF? Prepare to be surrounded by people who are passionate for our mission, dedicated to the organization and engaged with their fellow staff and associates. Our ICF team is committed to fulfilling the dream that started 45+ years ago. Oh yeah, we also have a nice salary and benefits package, and you can play a critical role in promoting and expanding our mission across the U.S. and 55 countries around the world.  Does that sound like you?

Position Summary:

The Aviculturist supports the mission of ICF 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 all aspects of the breeding programs and education of interns, colleagues, special visitors and volunteers.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform daily husbandry tasks, such as cleaning of crane pens, provision of clean water and fresh food according to established protocols.
  • Maintain daily records for captive flock including changes in day-to-day management, notable behavioral observations, breeding records (egg data, artificial insemination/cryogenics, chick rearing), health concerns and bird location changes.
  • Facilitate communication related to Crane Conservation Department (CCD) activities through updates of databases, participation in morning and weekly department meetings and participation 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 for reintroduction (including working in a hooded crane costume) and behavioral husbandry.
  • Participate in the management of birds in public display areas to support site visitor program and aviculture goals.
  • Support ICF’s public education and outreach goals by participating in on-site presentations or keeper chats during visitor season.
  • Provide recommendations concerning protocol changes and exhibit modifications to improve breeding potential, visitor experience and general well-being of the animals.
  • Assist with coordination of seasonal maintenance activities related to flock management including vegetation management, annual disinfection of crane holding pens, repairs to crane enclosures, snow removal and camera installation.
  • Assist with CCD’s Behavioral Husbandry Program through the provision of enrichment and participation in operant conditioning plans.
  • Assist with purchasing of aviculture supplies.
  • Operate equipment such as truck and trailers, electric golf carts, brush mower, weed- trimmer, pressure washer and other machinery as necessary.
  • Assist CCD staff in training interns or visiting colleagues on aviculture techniques and related issues.
  • Work closely with Conservation Medicine Department to provide high-quality health care to the flock including treatment of sick or injured birds as directed by veterinary staff.
  • All other duties as assigned by the Curator of Birds.

Qualifications Required:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, or two-year degree with equivalent experience with an emphasis in biology, zoology or conservation-related sciences.
  • Experience working with a 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; work with integrity and ethically.
  • Quickly, effectively and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes and technologies.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Two years’ relevant experience in care, breeding and rearing of birds.
  • Experience with ZIMS database software.
  • Experience with operant conditioning.
  • Experience using a variety of hand and power tools.

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 work with birds and to type.
  • Ability to talk and hear.
  • Ability to see and read documents and computer screen.
  • Ability to safely handle and restrain large, powerful birds.
  • 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 occasionally use high strength disinfectants, herbicides and be exposed to heavy dust loads.
  • 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.

ICF offers a competitive salary and benefits package. To apply send cover letter and resume to icfjobs@savingcranes.org. Please list subject: Aviculturist

The International Crane Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.