The National Aviary is closed on Tuesday, March 20.

The National Aviary is closed on Tuesday, March 20.


volunteer with lorikeets

The National Aviary seeks outgoing and dynamic individuals who will help us to provide our visitors with an outstanding experience.



  • Visitor Services: Admissions Clerk - Greet visitors and assist with ticketing and gift shop purchases. 

  • Party Coordinator - Serve as a liaison between the client, catering team, visitor services and the animal care staff the day of the birthday party. (weekends) Urgently needed!

  • Administrative Assistant - Proficient computer and organization skills (M-F)

  • Commissary - Work in our animal's kitchen to make diets, wash dishes and keep the commissary sparkling clean. (Daily, 2+ hours between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm)

  • Crafts & Games - For monthly special events (weekends 11:00 am - 3:00 pm)

  • Exhibit cleaning - Cleaning the walk-through exhibits prior to opening (8:00 - 10:00 am. Commissary is a pre-requisite.)

  • Food Prep - Prepare food for the birds in our Education collection (7:30-10:00 am)

  • Neighborhood Nest Watch - Assist National Aviary field researchers with finding and assessing eight common backyard bird species. Nest Watch runs from 6:00 am - noon every day from May 10-August 1, 2017; volunteers must provide their own transportation. 

  • Daily Volunteer - See details below.

 Daily volunteers - Afternoon & Saturday shifts especially needed!

Daily volunteers serve in  a variety of roles that help us to complete the schedule of events each day. These front line informal educators interact with Aviary guests to:

  • Provide information about our birds (and mammals!)
  • Provide assistance in locating and understanding exhibits
  • Staff the Lorikeet Exhibit during public feedings
  • Give guided tours
  • Lead early learner programs

Daily Volunteers also:

  • Assist staff with daily interactive feedings in the Wetlands and Penguin Point
  • Lead activity-based tours for school groups
  • Assist educators during outreach programs
  • Help in the kitchen and with the daily bird counts

Adult volunteer applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application by April 15, 2017 (for March 16th Orientation).
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign waiver if eligible. 
  • Have reliable and convenient internet access.
  • Enjoy interacting with the general public.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation.
  • Attend at least six (6) of 12 Saturday monthly meetings per year.
  • Commit to a minimum of 100 hours of service per year. (This equals two four-hour shift per month.)
  • Commit to a regular monthly schedule.
  • Must be available for one orientation. (May 16; September 6)

Acceptance in to the program is based on interviews, availability and compatibility of interests.

Education Volunteers

A Daily volunteer may decide to move on to the next level of volunteerism – education.  Education volunteers educate school children and the general public about our collection in a more formal way. These volunteers receive special training beyond that required of daily volunteers. With more extensive training, they are able to assist with on-site and off-site education programs for both children and adults. Education volunteers also staff interactive experiences for our guests, like the Penguin encounter.

Daily volunteers may be eligble to train as Education volunteers and handle birds in our Education collection after 100 hours of continuous service as a National Aviary volunteer in good standing. Additional classes and an application is required.

Animal Care, training & handling

Students seeking animal care, handling or training experience can apply for an internship in our vet hospital, Animal Collections or Education departments.  Volunteers seeking behind the scenes or exhibit tasks must start in the Commissary. 

Teen volunteers (ages 14-17) have a separate process. Click below to learn more.

Learn how to become a volunteer, today!