Whooping Crane Chick Rearing Internship - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Whooping Crane Chick Rearing Internship

The International Crane Foundation is looking to fill four Whooping Crane Chick Rearing Internship positions for 2022.

Positions are between 6 to 8 months in duration; with start dates between April 1 to 15.

Background: The International Crane Foundation is a leader in the conservation of the world’s 15 crane species and is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to cranes and the ecosystems vital to their long-term survival. The Foundation’s world headquarters is located just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin.  The International Crane Foundation participates in captive breeding and rearing of Whooping Cranes for release in the two reintroduction programs.

Description: Whooping Crane Chick Rearing Interns will receive training and assist in the intensive care and management of raising endangered crane chicks, specifically Whooping Cranes for captivity and release and will:

  • Develop husbandry skills related to daily cleaning and feeding of the flock.
  • Participate in the management of birds in a zoological setting, and specifically for release.
  • Acquire an understanding of captive propagation including some participation in artificial insemination, egg incubation and chick rearing.
  • Assist with routine set-up, maintenance and winterization of crane facilities both on campus and in the field.
  • Learn and practice safe crane defense, handling and restraint techniques.
  • Learn and follow strict isolation-rearing protocols for raising chicks for release.
  • Acquire and exhibit proper costume parental behaviors when working with chicks, providing them with experiences to develop survival skills in the wild.
  • Conduct behavioral observations associated with chick-rearing, breeding or animal welfare assessments.
  • Learn and use ZIMS for record keeping and communication among staff.
  • Acquire knowledge of and participate in tracking cranes free roaming in Wisconsin.
  • Learn about International Crane Foundation project initiatives related to crane ecology, behavior and husbandry, field conservation and ecology, and ecosystem restoration techniques and processes.
  • As time allows, assist in the completion of one or several projects related to the goals, work plan and objectives of the Crane Conservation Department including summarizing those projects in a formal paper and presentation.
  • Pending US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) approval, part of the internship will be completed on a USFWS Refuge.

Additional opportunities may include:

  • Assist the Conservation Education Department with on-site visitor outreach through special tours.
  • Have the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of professional staff at the Foundation.
  • Participate in prescribed burns.
  • Whooping Crane Chick Rearing Intern may help with all aspects of the captive flock and responsibilities will vary depending upon the timing and number of chicks hatching.

A taxable $800/month stipend including on-site housing is provided.  A typical work week is five days (40-50 hours) with two consecutive days off.  Interns are required to work weekends and holidays. Some responsibilities require non-traditional work hours which may include early mornings, evenings or night checks.


  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Interns must be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus prior to starting employment or request a religious or reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to abide by all Wisconsin state, local and International Crane Foundation institutional policies regarding COVID-19.
  • Ability to abide by all USFWS policies when working on USFWS Refuges.
  • Must be able to commit to the minimum six-month duration.
  • Two years of college or equivalent practical experience required; four-year college degree or Associate degree in a relevant program preferred.
  • Six months of animal care experience with a focus in avian biology or zookeeping preferred.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment with minimal supervision.
  • Well-developed communication skills including speaking to large visitor groups.
  • Reliability, sound judgment, and ability to master tasks and comprehend concepts quickly and correctly.
  • This position is physically demanding. Applicants must be able to carry 50 pounds and be able to lift, bend or stoop for extended lengths of time.
  • Ability to work outdoors every day in all weather conditions found in Wisconsin, but also indoors in an office environment.
  • Ability to work a varied schedule.
  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States at the time they apply.
  • Basic CPR and First Aid training is desired.
  • Knowledge of tracking, reading maps and GPS skills are a plus.

Application Procedure:  Applicants should send a one-page cover letter including start date availability, resume (no more than two pages), and contact information for three references to: ICFinternships@savingcranes.org. Please use the subject line “Whooping Crane Chick Rearing & Release Internship.” Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

“The International Crane Foundation is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people.’

The International Crane Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.