Wild Bird Rehabilitation Internship

As development encroaches on wildlife habitat, PAWS' nationally recognized wildlife rehabilitation center rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned animals and educates people about peaceful co-existence with wildlife. It is our goal to return wild animals back to the wild where they belong. We believe that wild animals are best served by being allowed to live undisturbed in their natural environment. No animals are permanently kept in captivity at PAWS.

Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for wildlife rehabilitation centers, including PAWS. During these months, we often receive 30 to 40 animals per day (between 2,500 - 3,000 wild animals each year). The primary role of a wild bird rehabilitation intern is to help care for these animals, many of whom are orphans birds. The internship is intense, physically demanding, fast-paced and repetitive, giving interns the opportunity to learn about many aspects of wildlife rehabilitation.

Interns gain valuable practical experience, while helping PAWS' wildlife patients and working with professional staff and highly trained volunteers. Some of the skills learned include individual species identification and natural history, proper husbandry techniques, animal handling, hand feeding of orphaned birds, medication administration, lab work, and various other procedures. Interns will receive daily one-on-one training and are required to attend an orientation and two in-depth training classes. Interns will also have the opportunity to work on an individual or group project.

Job duties

  • Caring for orphaned birds in our Bird Nursery.
  • Assuming a leadership roll in the Bird Nursery Cleaning tasks: cage cleaning, laundry, washing dishes, sweeping and mopping floors, grounds-keeping.
  • Setting up and maintaining animal enclosures by referring to the natural history of the individual species.
  • Preparing food.
  • Animal care: handling and restraint, hand-feeding and assisting with the releases of rehabilitated wildlife.
  • Medical care: administering daily medications.
  • Other tasks as required.

Abilities and experience required

  • Ability to speak read and write the English language fluently.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Ability to perform tedious tasks for long periods of time.
  • Ability to do rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather.
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks, such as cleaning, lifting (up to 40 pounds), climbing stairs, etc.
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently while precisely following directions and procedures.

Terms of internship

  • A three to four-month commitment is preferable. A 40-hour work week is expected.
  • Interns must provide their own transportation to Lynnwood where PAWS is located.
  • Interns must arrange for their own housing.
  • Intern positions are unpaid.

Dates available

May 1 – September 1

Note: Internships are of variable length. PAWS' wildlife volunteer program manager will work with successful applicants to schedule exact dates for the internship.

Application instructions

If you are interested in applying for a PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship please complete the online application and mail the following to the address below:

  • Your resume.
  • Academic transcript supporting education level achieved (copies are acceptable).
  • An essay describing your career goals and how an internship at PAWS will help you achieve your goals. The essay must be one to two typed pages in length.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one former employer.

Mail or email to:

Attn: Frances Boyens
Wildlife Volunteer Program Manager 
P.O. Box 1037
Lynnwood, WA 98046

For questions about the internship or the application process, please contact Frances Boyens at fboyens@paws.org or at 425.787.2500 x818.

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