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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Keeper Aide: Birds (SCBI)

  • white-naped crane

SCBI is home to ten species of threatened and endangered birds from around the globe. The bird department is seeking three volunteer keeper aides to clean and maintain enclosures, prepare animal diets, help with animal behavior observations, and assist keepers in their other animal husbandry duties. This department also cares for the black-footed ferret collection at SCBI, and the accepted applicants may have the opportunity to assist in this area as well.

Volunteers must commit to one consistent day per week for a minimum of one year. Shifts typically run from 8:00am-1:00pm.

Age Range: 




Special qualifications: 

Volunteers should be physically fit and willing to work in all types of weather. Applicants should have an interest in bird behavior and husbandry. Some animal care experience is preferred, but not required.


Once provisionally accepted, you must complete mandatory online orientation and training. Additional training will be provided on the job. There is a probationary period for all keeper aides.


Front Royal




Zoo Support

Contact phone: 


Additional information: 

These positions are highly competitive with limited spacing available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our staff and volunteers. Applicants will be interviewed by SCBI staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check (which includes fingerprinting) prior to their first volunteer shift.