How to Become a Raptor Trust Volunteer
The Raptor Trust is a licensed wild bird rehabilitation facility. We take care of injured and orphaned native birds with the goal of making them healthy and releasing them back into the wild. Of the more than 5,000 birds that come through our infirmary each year, most of them (approximately 3,500), arrive in the summer months. It is during those months, which we fondly call “baby bird season,” that we most rely on our hard-working volunteers. Our busiest season runs from mid-May through mid-August, so we ask potential volunteers to look at their schedules and seriously consider the commitment they are making. After the summer has ended, we are still in need of volunteers to help during the fall and winter months. There are many ways you can help The Raptor Trust. Below, we discuss the most common ways we can use volunteer help.
- Food Prep and Cleaning – this position facilitates the staff’s ability to care for the birds. OUR STAFF provides medical care, makes medical decisions, feeds baby birds, and handles the birds directly. OUR VOLUNTEERS provide diet prep, cleans cages of the adult songbirds once they’ve made it to the end of their rehabilitation journey. Volunteers are also responsible for cleaning adult waterfowl, gulls, and pigeon enclosures and feeding and caring for the many ducklings and goslings in our care. Volunteers do not work with raptors. Volunteers are also critical for helping with the laundry, dishes, and other assorted tasks as needed. This position is the most active, and requires a lot of moving around and lifting heavy water jugs. There are three volunteer shifts mid-May through August: a morning shift (8am-12pm), afternoon shift (12pm-4pm), and an evening shift (4pm-8pm). The evening shift can be more flexible, to accommodate your busy work schedule. From mid-September through late April, there are only morning and afternoon shifts.
- Gift Shop – The Raptor Trust is now open by appointment to the public. Our recently renovated gift shop is a critical source of income for TRT, and our volunteers help by running the cash register, restocking products, and maintaining cleanliness between guests. The Gift Shop has two HEPA air filters and windows to open, plus a plastic shield to protect from COVID exposure. This position is less active, and has ample opportunity to sit down inside.
- Reception – with 5000+ patients every year, maintaining our patient database is critical. Receptionists enter finder and patient information into our database, and update past years records into our system. This position is good for someone computer savvy who wants to be in the infirmary, but are happier not cleaning bird messes.
- Guest Services – This position is entirely outside. We have instituted timed appointments for people to enter our facility. We need help checking people in, ensuring they are wearing a mask, and explaining what they will see on our grounds. This position is evolving into more of an educational role, and will be expanding over the next few months to enhance the guest experience. This position does not require a 10 week commitment.
- Grounds work and maintenance – We often have grounds work and beautification projects that need assistance. This position is flexible, can be for as needed projects, or a consistent schedule. This position does not require a 10 week commitment.
Volunteers are not allowed in raptor cages, nor are they allowed to handle raptors, although they are welcome to watch the trained staff do their work.
You must be at least 18 or older to volunteer.
Please fill out a Volunteer Interest Form here.