Native Songbird Care & Conservation
Saving Native Songbirds One Bird at a Time.

2021 Passerine Rehabilitation Internship

Native Songbird Care & Conservation (NSCC) is a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation hospital and non-profit organization located in Sebastopol, California.  We are dedicated to the conservation of native passerines through rehabilitation, release back to the wild, community engagement, and educational outreach.  Each year our experienced staff and volunteers care for approximately 1,000 native passerines of 70 species. 

The internship program at NSCC provides a unique opportunity to gain experience in the care of injured, ill and orphaned native passerines within the wildlife rehabilitation setting. From a conservation perspective, this internship also provides an up-close look at the anthropogenic threats facing passerines in today’s world and what we can do to reduce the impact of those threats. 

All species care for at NSCC are state and federally protected.  Interns will become familiar with the laws and ethics that govern and guide our work as rehabilitators. 

Responsibilities  Interns will learn and practice several aspects of patient care and hospital operations including, but not limited to:  

  • Animal husbandry including cleaning, feeding, and enrichment
  • Patient accession and record-keeping
  • Assisting with medical exams and weekly health checks as needed
  • Safe handling and restraint of passerines
  • Dosing and administering medications
  • Evaluating patients for release, coordinating and safely conducting releases as needed
  • Species identification and natural history of native passerines
  • Assisting volunteers and staff with laundry, dishes, and other support tasks to ensure the hospital is maintained in a clean and orderly condition at all times
  • Assisting members of the public seeking advice about or help with native passerines
  • Transporting patients from municipal shelters, veterinary clinics and other wildlife centers to NSCC for rehabilitation

Coursework  Interns will receive a manual covering organization policies, basic hospital procedures, and other material relevant to wildlife rehabilitation and passerine conservation.  Two classes will be taught during the term. Classes will cover areas of wildlife rehabilitation relevant to the intern’s work at NSCC. 

During the final week of the term, there will be a final exam based on the reading material, classes, and rehabilitation procedures learned at NSCC.


  • Must be able to perform physically demanding tasks such as bending and stooping, able to lift up to 40lbs, perform tedious tasks for long periods of time on your feet, and do rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather
  • Must not have sensitivities to bird dander, mealworms, plant material, hand disinfectant, bleach or dish soap.
  • Must have respect and compassion for wildlife; maturity and professionalism when working with the public, NSCC staff, and volunteers
  • Must be able to work independently and as a team member
  • Must be able to work quickly and efficiently in a fast-paced, high-stress environment while precisely following instructions and protocol
  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Word and other basic computer skills
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Proof of current tetanus shot and current health insurance
  • Proof of a negative COVID test performed within 1 week of internship and willingness to follow NSCC's COVID-19 safety protocol through the duration of the internship
  • Must have valid driver's license, current auto insurance and your own reliable transportation
  • Currently enrolled in or recently completed an undergraduate degree in Biology, Animal Science, or related field strongly desired
  • At least three months previous experience working with wild birds or volunteering at a wildlife facility strongly desired

Terms and Time Commitment

  • Internship term is a consecutive 8-week period with start dates on May 12 or June 2.  Start dates may be flexible for the right candidate.
  • Intern commits to 24-30 hours per week with strict adherence to the agreed upon work schedule for the duration of the 8-week term.  Shifts are typically 6-8 hours and include evenings, weekdays, weekends and holidays.
  • Interns are awarded a $1,000 stipend, disbursed in bi-weekly increments.
  • Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern.
  • All interns must read and sign required paperwork, including a Commitment Contract and COVID Waiver.
  • Upon successful completion of the internship, final project, and final exam, interns will be eligible for a letter of reference from the director summarizing their coursework, accomplishments and skills learned during the internship

Application process  

Please submit your resume, letter of intent, copy of transcript/coursework (optional), and selection of 2-3 references from whom we may contact, (At least 1 teacher/professor and 1 previous employer recommended) to the email below. The letter of intent must state when you are available to begin your internship and detail your interests, experience, and availability; demonstrate that you have secured housing and reliable transportation for the duration of the internship; and you are able to complete the internship in 8 consecutive weeks without interruption. Vacations should be scheduled before or after the 8-week term. If you qualify, a virtual interview will be scheduled.

Please email your resume and letter of intent with the subject line 2021 Summer Internship

Resumes submitted without a letter of intent WILL NOT be considered.

If you have any questions, please email your inquiry.

The deadline to apply is April 15, 2021.

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