Forest Bird Intern

US-LA-Baton Rouge
Seasonal, Part-Time
Job Category
Baton Rouge


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



Audubon Louisiana’s Prothonotary Warbler Program



Audubon Louisiana leads the coordination of Prothonotary Warbler research and conservation initiatives locally and internationally through the Prothonotary Warbler Working Group to:

  • use new technologies, such as light-level geolocators and nanotags, to track the migration of individual birds to provide new insights into their migratory and wintering ecology;
  • deploy nest boxes to monitor breeding productivity and assess annual return rates;
  • understand the role and connectivity of wintering events on breeding success;
  • develop a life cycle population model to inform an International Conservation Plan to outline strategies that will reverse population declines.

In Louisiana, we coordinate on-the-ground research, nest box monitoring, and volunteer engagement in collaboration with Louisiana Bird Observatory (a program of the Baton Rouge Audubon Society), BREC (Baton Rouge Parish Parks and Recreation Department), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, and Louisiana Office of State Parks. We also work with a variety of other groups and organizations, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana State University AgCenter, The National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, Acadiana Nature Station, and several local high schools to provide workshops and training seminars to increase the awareness of bottomland hardwood forest conservation and associated incentive programs for land owners and land managers.

This work has been supported by a grant from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coypu Foundation, Mosaic Company Foundation and Walton Family Foundation, as well as individual giving/sponsorships.

Position Summary

The Forest Bird Intern will support our research and conservation project to benefit Prothonotary Warblers and other bottomland hardwood forest songbirds. The Forest Bird Intern will learn from experts in the field of conservation and avian ecology while gaining exposure to research, monitoring, and education techniques. This internship is a great opportunity to intimately study and protect a charismatic species of conservation concern.


The goals of the program are to deploy nest boxes within suitable habitat to increase local nest success of forest songbirds, reduce predation risks, and reduce nest-parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds. The intern will help deploy and monitor these nest boxes, track nest success, band nestling and adult Prothonotary Warblers, and assist with volunteer project days and training citizen scientists.


The internship will start on approximately 14 May 2018, and will require working a minimum of 20 hours per week over the course of 12 weeks. The position will require work to take place during early mornings, and late evenings and weekends as required.

Essential Functions

Supervised by Audubon Louisiana’s Avian Biologist, and working closely with our Director of Bird Conservation, the Forest Bird Intern will assist Audubon Louisiana staff to:

  • Construct and deploy nest boxes;
  • Monitor nesting activity and record detailed data on nest productivity;
  • Band adults and nestlings, and record morphometric information;
  • Set up video cameras to record nestling provisioning;
  • Enter data and prepare interim reports;
  • Engage local communities, organize volunteer events, and use social media to increase awareness of the need to protect a species of conservation concern.

As a result of this internship experience, interns will gain:       

  • Skills in bird identification, nest searching, bird banding, and nest productivity monitoring;
  • Experience implementing new projects and engaging volunteers;
  • Knowledge of conservation methods in forested habitats, such as conservation easements and restoration techniques;
  • Opportunities to make connections and learn from environmental professionals;
  • An understanding of the role of partnerships in conservation planning and implementation;
  • Knowledge of forest systems in southern Louisiana;
  • Experience in research, data analysis and writing;
  • Skills in planning and executing specific tasks in a professional environment.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Excellent interpersonal as well as written and oral communication skills;
  • Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, humid, biting insects);
  • Must be comfortable interacting with the public and staff of multiple partner organizations;
  • Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail.


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