The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Education Interpreters: Bird House | COMING SOON

  • Experience Migration exhibit rendering of the Shorebird Aviary: Delaware Bay, featuring a pathway surrounded by exhibitry

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo will soon recruit volunteers to serve as education interpreters in the newly renovated Bird House, opening in 2021. With almost 100 species of birds, this newly imagined exhibit will immerse visitors in the annual migratory journeys of western hemisphere birds, such as songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds, which are integral to North, Central and South American ecosystems. With themed walk-through aviaries, interactive experiences and dynamic educational programming, the Bird House will inspire and connect visitors to birds in exciting new ways.

Interpreters are front-line educators who play a central role in creating a memorable experience for guests and inspiring them to care about the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Interpreters share animal and conservation stories, answer questions and engage guests with biological objects and artifacts.

New interpreters will learn about natural history, conservation efforts, the work that goes into caring for bird species, and the tools and techniques needed to communicate effectively with guests.

Please note that volunteers do not have direct contact or interaction with exhibit species.

Volunteers must be able to commit to at least one year to interpreting at Bird House. Volunteers are expected participate in monthly evening meetings and assist with occasional special events. Volunteer shifts occur seven days a week.
Age Range: 




Special qualifications: 

Candidates should have a strong interest in bird species and the Zoo, comfort around birds in free-flight aviaries, and the desire and ability to speak with a diverse audience of guests.


Training for this program is comprised of both classroom and online sessions. Volunteers must be able to attend all in-person training dates (training dates TBD). 


Washington DC





Contact phone: 


Additional information: 

If accepted into the program, volunteers must pass a Smithsonian background check, complete training and become a FONZ member* in their first year of volunteering. 

*Options are available for individuals for whom the membership may not be manageable.