The Raptor Trust
Avian Care Internship Description

The Trust’s dedicated staff cares for over 5,000 injured and orphaned birds each year and welcomes visitors to its Millington facility 365 days a year to see the 50 non-releasable hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls that are permanent residents at the center. The Trust also offers educational programs for schools and community groups throughout the region.

The Raptor Trust is one of the premier, privately funded wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States. Founded in 1983, the center has three primary missions:                                                                                                                                                         

  • To provide free care and assistance to injured, sick, and orphaned wild birds, with the goal of releasing as many as possible back to the wild.
  • To educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey.
  • To provide a humane example for others in caring for wildlife.

As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Raptor Trust receives no federal or state funds, and instead relies on donations and grants to fulfill its mission.

Each year from mid-May through August the Trust is inundated with nestling and fledgling songbirds, sometimes hundreds at a time. When citizens find these birds injured, orphaned, or displaced during the spring and summer months, The Raptor Trust admits them into our care to be raised, rehabilitated, and ultimately released back into the wild. Because of the volume of birds admitted during these months and the variety of specialized care which they require, The Raptor Trust sees this time as most opportunistic and valuable in our goal to provide experience and education to students who wish to learn about wildlife care and rehabilitation.

Internships provide hands-on learning opportunities relevant to the fields of wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife management, environmental science, biology, ecology and veterinary medicine.   In addition to participating in workshops, field trips, weekly discussion meetings, and workbook assignments, interns are responsible for practicing the skills they learn while assisting the staff in maintaining standards of care for injured adult birds, help with general upkeep of the center, and in feeding orphaned/displaced nestling and fledgling songbirds.

A Raptor Trust intern should have a positive attitude, be flexible, self motivated, hard-working, and have a strong passion and respect for wildlife and the mission of The Raptor Trust.

Opportunities and learning objectives

  • Hand-feed nestling and fledgling songbirds
  • Prepare specially formulated diets for a wide variety of bird species
  • Learn how a species’ natural history, including diet, habitat, and social patterns, affect its rehabilitation
  • Admit new patients to our infirmary and begin medical notes using our online database system
  • Monitor and take notes on patient health and behavior under the direction of our technicians
  • Participate in group discussions on local and global issues facing avian conservation
  • Support volunteers in ensuring general cleanliness and upkeep of the facility
  • Greet and interact with the public while assisting with bird admissions, phone calls, and guest inquiries
  • Provide critical support to senior medical staff with capture and restraint of patients during medical procedures
  • Attend bi-weekly meetings, seminars, workshops and/or field trips related to all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation
  • Observe various diagnostics including phlebotomy, microscopy, and radiography
  • Practice identification of songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl based on field markers and other context clues
  • Appreciate the nuances of species specific minimum release standards
  • Develop and practice skills in teamwork, communication, time management, and task prioritization
  • Become familiar with ethical, moral, and legal debates regarding avian rehabilitation, rehabilitation of nuisance species, rehabilitation of non-threatened species, and the use of euthanasia

Back in 2020:
Participate in workshops at The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge & Duke Farms Nature Preserve. Workshop opportunities may include songbird banding, bat surveys, duck banding, and invasive species identification and removal techniques.

Position Dates: May through August 2020              Scheduling: 32 hours per week including weekends and evenings

Housing: limited housing may be available            Location: The Raptor Trust. 1390 White bridge Road, Millington, NJ 07946

Additional Information: This internship can be modified to meet most schools’ criteria in qualifying for academic credit. This is an unpaid internship.

Qualifications: A Raptor Trust intern should have a positive attitude, be flexible, self motivated, hard-working, energetic, and have a strong passion and respect for wildlife and the mission of The Raptor Trust. Prior animal care experience is desirable but not required. Reliable means of transportation is a must. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age and have completed 1 year of college.

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume, copy of transcript/coursework (optional), and selection of 2-3 references whom we may contact, (At least 1 teacher/professor and 1 previous employer recommended). Applications are due by March 10th, 2020.

Mail: Alyssa Rella, The Raptor Trust, 1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington, NJ 07946

Email: (Resume and cover letter attached as one document please)   or   Fax: 908-647-8211

Summer volunteer positions are also available ranging 4-12 hours/week! Click here or contact us for more information: