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 more than 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 cared 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.
Essential Duties and 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
- Safe handling and restraint of passerines
- Dosing and administering medications and vitamin supplements
- Coordinating and implementing renesting, reuniting, and wild fostering plans of orphaned songbirds as needed
- Evaluating patients for release, coordinating and safely conducting releases as needed
- Species identification and natural history of native passerines
- Folding laundry, washing 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
Interns will attend two classes during their term. Classes will cover areas relevant to wildlife conservation and our work 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, have good visual acuity and hand dexterity (baby songbird mouths are tiny!), 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 verbal and written instructions and protocol
- Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Comfortable with Microsoft Word and other basic computer skills
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Currently enrolled in or recently completed an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology, Animal Science, Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Science or related field strongly desired
- Proof of current tetanus shot and current health insurance
- Proof of COVID vaccination and booster, 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
- At least three months previous experience working with wild birds or volunteering at a wildlife facility strongly desired
Terms and Time Commitment
- The internship term is a consecutive 8-week period with start dates in May or no later than the first week of June.
- Intern commits to 24 hours per week with strict adherence to the agreed upon work schedule for the duration of the 8-week term. Schedules are typically consecutive 6-8 hour shifts and include evenings, weekdays, weekends and holidays.
- Hourly wage is $17.25
- Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern.
- All interns must read and sign the required paperwork, including a Commitment Contract and COVID Waiver.
How to Apply
Using the form below, please submit a letter of intent, resume, 2-3 professional or academic references we may contact (1 professor, 1 employer recommended), and copy of transcript/coursework (optional).
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.
Incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered.
If you qualify, a virtual interview will be scheduled.
The deadline to apply is March 24, 2023.