A Docent is a front line informal educator who engages National Aviary guests to inspire a respect for nature through an appreciation of birds. A docent has a dynamic and outgoing personality and enjoys sharing their passion for birds and nature with the general public. They serve in a variety of roles that help us to complete the schedule of events each day. 

This position is ongoing.

Days needed:   ALL, High need on Tuesday and Saturday

Number of hours required: 8 hours per month minimum
Specific time/ shift  required: 4-7 hours per day during our open hours (10:00 am – 5:00 pm.) Occasional evening hours for special events. The highest need is from 1-5 pm.

Volunteer responsibilities:

Support staff in carrying out the National Aviary’s daily activities.
Schedule may vary on any given day. Volunteers complete training for the first tier of activities before moving on to the second.

Tier I
Serve as a Docent in the Tropical Forest, Wetlands, Grasslands, Main Hallway and Condor Court
Operate virtual reality device (Birdly)
Record penguin feedings
Usher Interactive feedings and live bird shows
Assist Educators on outreach education programs
Assist with Crafts & Games on special event weekends
Wash animal dishes

Tier II
Lead Activity Based Tours for school groups
Lead Guided Tours
Use biofacts to interpret exhibits
Work in Lorikeet exhibit during the interactive feeding
Conduct exhibit talks


  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • 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.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation.
  • Attend at least six (6) of 11 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.

For more information, contact Tammy Arnold: 412-258-9455 or