Keeper II

Full-time, Benefited-  Keeper II - IV Avian Propagation Keeper, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans, LA

Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2018.
Apply online at Submit a coverletter, resume, and 3 reference contacts.

Description:  Reporting directly to the Assistant Curator, this keeper position will focus on various bird breeding programs, including several stork species, and a large portion of it being endangered whooping cranes and Mississippi sandhill cranes, located on a 1,000 acre facility, the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC).  The FMASSC facility is not open to the general public.
The crane programs work closely with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to help reintroduce these species back into their former ranges.  This keeper will also work with new bird species that will be brought in for The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife, a joint venture between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global, which will focus on reproduction of endangered species to help maintain sustainable populations.  


  • Provide daily husbandry of the captive flock of cranes and miscellaneous other species.
  • Perform seasonal artificial insemination of breeding flock.
  • Assist in egg handling and incubation practices.
  • Assist in the "costume-rearing" of five to twenty-five crane chicks per year.
  • Identify and perform routine maintenance issues. Often conducting many projects at one time.
  • Perform routine grounds/landscaping tasks.
  • Maintain records and conduct behavioral observations.
  • Assist in the training and supervision of other keepers, interns, and volunteers.
  • Assist veterinary and supervisory staff in treating animals as assigned.
  • Prepare and follow prescribed diets and feeding procedures.
  • Observe strict crane costume protocol, including not speaking for long periods of time.
  • Work in a potential harsh weather environment- outdoors, in extreme heat, high humidity, heavy rain, and around a wide array of wild snakes and insects. This position is very strenuous and labor intensive.
  • Work safely in costume with accompanying visual obstruction around small, mobile chicks.
  • Basic horticultural maintenance (i.e. Mowing, weed eating, scything, pruning, tree trimming/cutting, enclosure landscaping, etc).
  • General exhibit/enclosure maintenance, including pool and flight netting maintenance.
  • Ability to follow Nuisance wildlife protocols.
  • Be able to receive and follow direction well.
  • Work well both independently and in a small group.
  • With training, be able to safely manage tall, aggressive birds.
  • Maintain regular attendance in compliance with Audubon Nature Institute’s standards, as required by scheduling which may vary according to the needs of the organization.
  • Maintain high standards of personal appearance and grooming, which includes wearing the proper uniform and name tag when working.
  • Comply at all times with Audubon Nature Institute’s standards and regulations to encourage safe and efficient operations.


  • Keeper levels vary depending on experience and education.  A Keeper II must have, at least,
    • High School diploma and 2 years of animal experience at an AZA institution OR
    • An Associate’s degree and 18 months animal experience at an AZA institution OR
    • A Bachelor’s degree in Biology (or related field).
  • A proven interest and knowledge in birds.  Prior experience in avian captive breeding ideal, but not necessary.
  • A comprehensive understanding of avian imprinting.
  • Familiarity of incubation practices.  
  • Lift, carry, push, and pull 50 lbs.
  • Ability to anticipate, identify, prevent, and solve problems.
  • Risk periodic exposure to fairly predictable and controllable hazards associated with wild animals and zoonotic diseases.
  • Possess a good attitude, common sense, and able to produce quality work in fast paced, high pressure situations.
  • Excellent communication skills. Convey information and ideas clearly and in a timely manner.
  • People management skills a plus.
  • A current tetanus shot and proof of a negative TB test prior to starting.
  • A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
  • Willingness and ability to work weekends, holidays, and overtime.
  • Proficient in basic computer processing.
  • Be able to pass background check and drug screen.


  • Applications will be accepted through July 31st, 2018. 

Apply online at to submit a coverletter, resume, and 3 reference contacts.