Aquatic Avian Medicine and Surgery

In 2020, International Bird Rescue will be offering a veterinary internship for graduate veterinarians seeking further experience in conservation and wildlife medicine, specifically with marine and freshwater avian species.

International Bird Rescue has been a leader in the realm of oiled wildlife response and the care of oiled birds since 1971. We operate two large wildlife rehabilitation clinics serving the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas and also maintain a turnkey oiled wildlife care facility in Anchorage, AK. We are major partners in California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network and if an oil spill occurs in California, our centers can become primary care centers for oiled animals within a few hours. During non-oil spill times, our two California clinics collectively admit 3000-5000 aquatic birds annually, and sometimes manage large responses to non-oil spill mass stranding events. These two clinics act as referral hospitals for aquatic birds; most of our patients are transferred from other wildlife centers. We do NOT maintain a captive collection of animal ambassadors. Our patients are all wild animals and must stay that way.

The intern will be supervised by International Bird Rescue’s Veterinarian/Research Director, the Operations Manager, and the Wildlife Center Manager, and will be a collegial co-worker to rehabilitation technicians and volunteers. The intern will be involved in all aspects of wildlife medicine and rehabilitation including physical exams, husbandry, diagnostic sample collection, radiography, anesthesia, surgery, medical treatments, euthanasia decision-making, necropsy, and electronic record maintenance.

The intern will develop treatment plans in conjunction with the supervising veterinarian and Wildlife Center Manager, and will become comfortable with common surgical procedures and special techniques driven by the needs of each species. Performing necropsies is an invaluable learning tool and the intern will be expected to perform necropsies each week. Special interests are highly encouraged, and clinical research projects may be feasible; the intern is also welcome to take part in ongoing projects. Conference presentation and writing for publication are strongly encouraged.

Candidates must have a strong interest in wildlife rehabilitation medicine, must have well-developed interpersonal and clinical skills, and demonstrate a high degree of professionalism. A strong interest in comparative anatomy, anatomic pathology, and physiology is a plus.

The position provides $26,000/yr to assist with living expenses, 2 weeks paid vacation. Travel funds to one professional conference up to a budgeted amount may become available. The intern’s primary worksite will be our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center in Fairfield (~45 miles from downtown SF, ~30 miles from UC Davis), but contingent on events, may be needed at the Los Angeles Wildlife Center, such as during their annual oiled wildlife season, January-March. There may be opportunities to join the UC Davis SVM exotic species interns and residents for journal club or rounds, and to visit neighboring wildlife centers.

The selection process for this position is not part of the AAVC Matching Program. All applications must be received by November 24, 2019. Selected candidates will be interviewed before December 22, 2019, with final selection made before January 10, 2020. The internship will ideally run from June 29, 2020 until July 05, 2021.


  • DVM, VMD, or equivalent degree, graduated from an AAVMC accredited school
  • Fluent English speaker
  • Non US-citizens are required to obtain a working permit or working visa
  • Transportation to and from the center at the primary location
  • Preference will be given to applicants with prior wildlife rehabilitation experience and prior avian experience.

Applicants must submit by Nov 24, 2019:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of interest including career goals
  • 3 reference letters
  • Official veterinary school academic transcript

Submit all materials via email to