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Volunteering & Internships

Volunteer and help us care for injured and oiled wildlife!

Every day, International Bird Rescue strives to improve medical and husbandry techniques for aquatic birds in captivity. We are proud of the dedication and support of our volunteers who participate in every aspect of the rehabilitation process. Their involvement is vital and directly impacts the successful return of animals to the wild.

In order to volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old, have a sincere desire to help wildlife and commit to at least a four-hour shift a week. We are looking for volunteers who are dependable, responsible and able to take direction.

How to Get Started

Complete and submit an online volunteer application form for your center of choice. A membership fee is required to volunteer, but orientation is free.

International Bird Rescue's San Francisco Bay Center (Fairfield)

Fill out online application for the San Francisco Bay Center

Orientations are held bimonthly with the next on: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10 AM to Noon. Please email us at Volunteer.SFBay@Bird-Rescue.org if you are interested in attending the next orientation.

Directions to the San Francisco Bay Center

International Bird Rescue's Los Angeles Center (San Pedro)

Fill out online application for the Los Angeles Center

Orientations are held bimonthly with the next on: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10 AM to Noon. Please email us at Volunteer.LA@Bird-Rescue.org if you are interested in attending the next orientation.

Directions to the Los Angeles Center.
Note: Bird Rescue is located next to the Marine Mammal Care Center.

The Volunteer Experience

Volunteer support is critical to the care and support that we give our patients, whether working directly with the animals we care for, or supporting their care through answering phones, filing, cleaning, laundry, or construction. We value your skills and want your experience to be rewarding and fulfilling. However you choose to help, you are helping to return these amazing creatures back into the wild.  

In our animal care program, we have three volunteering levels that interested volunteers can learn and progress through. All volunteers begin working within the animal care program by learning "the basics," and depending on your desire to learn and the time you have available, you can become proficient and confident in rehabilitation. Volunteers interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation can learn valuable skills not taught elsewhere through hands-on work at our centers.

Level 1
New volunteers work directly with a mentor and staff to learn how to properly perform basic hospital duties such as cleaning cages, doing laundry, preparing food, and helping to take care of the pools. Husbandry plays a vital part in recovery of any species. When these skills are mastered, volunteers can graduate to Level 2.

Level 2
Volunteers who are comfortable with providing for the basic needs of our patients may work with staff and mentors to learn more advanced skills such as bird capture within the enclosures, administering medications, gavage tubing, updating the medical records and assisting staff with patient evaluations.

Level 3
Volunteers who have begun to learn about the intricacies of caring for these magnificent birds may find that they want to continue learning and taking on more responsibility. With commitment and focus, Level 3 volunteers work closely with staff in providing expert care and oversight to animals, performing diagnostic tests, creating treatment plans and performing basic medical care.


Rehabilitation Internship

The Rehabilitation Internship Program is focused on aquatic bird rehabilitation and oil spill response. This program is open to all applicants, both international and from the United States, and is available at both of our facilities: Los Angeles Center in San Pedro, CA and the San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield, CA. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the start of their internship in order to qualify.
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