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    The Raptor Trust Summer Student Program

    • Employer: The Raptor Trust
      Location: Millington, NJ
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/10/2020
      Open Until Filled: No

    The Raptor Trust is one of the premier, privately-funded wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States.  Founded in 1983, as a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, The Raptor Trust receives no federal or state funds, relying on donations and grants to fulfill its mission to provide free care and assistance to injured, sick and orphaned wild birds, to educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey, and to provide a humane example for others in caring for wildlife.  The Trust’s dedicated staff cares for an average of 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. 

                   Each year from mid-May through August we are receive hundreds of nestling and fledgling songbirds.  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 a perfect opportunity to provide experience and education to students who wish to learn about wildlife care and rehabilitation.


    Summer Students will be responsible for practicing the skills they learn by assisting staff in maintaining standards of care for injured adult birds, preparing diets and feeding orphaned/displaced young song birds and waterfowl, and through helping with general upkeep of the center.  In addition, students are asked to participate in educational workshops, field trips, meetings, and to complete workbook readings and assignments to help further their learning. 


    This position includes observation of raptors but does not necessarily offer opportunities to assist with any raptor handling.


                    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

    * 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

    * Observe various diagnostics procedures including phlebotomy, microscopy, and radiography

    * Practice identification of songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl

    * Understand general guidelines for 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 and the use of euthanasia   


    * Back in 2020, Optional workshops offered at The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge & Duke Farms Nature Preserve.  Workshop opportunities may include bird banding, bat surveys, turtle counts, or invasive species identification and removal.

    Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have completed at least one full year of college, and be currently enrolled and in good academic standing in a college degree program.  All applicants must have access to a reliable means of transportation, be able to spend up to 6-8 hours mostly on their feet, lift at least 25lbs, and comfortably tolerate outdoor working conditions such as variable weather and temperatures. 

    Candidates 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.  Previous experience with animal handling or husbandry is preferred but not required.  While students in all areas of study are welcome to apply preference may be given to students who have completed or are currently enrolled in relevant coursework including Ecology, Biology, and Animal Science related studies. 

    To apply: Please send resume, cover letter and 2 references to arella@theraptortrust.org or mail to Alyssa Rella, 1390 White Bridge Road, Millington, NJ 07946.

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