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Volunteers

Volunteers are vital to the operation of the non-profit Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. Without concerned individuals like yourself, the Sanctuary would not be able to continue our mission to save our indigenous wild birds. (For more information email volunteer@seabirdsanctuary.com or fax your completed application to 727-399-2923)              

 
Volunteer Application (PDF)


There are five areas where the Sanctuary is of great need for volunteers: Outside Maintenance Care, Advanced Inside Hospital Care, Inside Office/Gift Shop, Advanced Rescue Volunteers, and Student Internship Programs. 

OUTSIDE MAINTENANCE CARE consists of scrubbing pools and benches, raking pens and aisles, talking to visitors, and assisting staff and volunteers in various projects such as food preparation and feeding. An outside volunteer is necessary for bird observation, particularly at feeding time, to insure that the birds are eating well and behaving normally. Two shifts available: 8am to 12:30pm and 1:30 to 4:30pm. 

INSIDE OFFICE OR GIFT SHOP: consists of answering phones, computer work, filing, and office/gift shop assistance.  Marketing and research could be involved. All levels of experience is needed including: housekeeping, fundraising, or attending events on behalf of the Sanctuary.  Hours can be between 8:30am to 5:00pm.

INSIDE ADVANCED HOSPITAL CARE
consists of emergency reception of new patients, direct bird care and observation, cage cleaning, housekeeping, food preparation and tube feeding. This process goes on throughout the day and is tripled during the baby bird season. Hospital volunteers need to have some experience in animal care, nursing and bird identification, or have had some experience with our permanently crippled residents. The hospital volunteer must have compassion and an understanding of the natural process of life and death. Euthanasia is mandated by law and humane guidelines in some cases.  Hours available daily: 8am - 9pm. 

ADVANCED BIRD RESCUE volunteers are available to respond to calls received by the Sanctuary concerning a wild bird in distress. Our volunteers normally respond to calls regarding large seabirds, or birds of prey that are dangerous or intimidating for the general public to handle. Rescuers work designated geographic areas of their own choosing work with an experienced rescuer until they are qualified to rescue independently.  Hours generally available daily:  9am - 8pm. 

STUDENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: The Sanctuary works with several local colleges where internships are available. These are programs designed for a student who is studying environment, ecology, conservation and/or wildlife.  College credits are sometimes awarded. 
Minimum age requirement is 18 years.

These areas outlined above are general. If these areas don't "fit your bill," that's ok!  There is room for everyone at the Sanctuary! Like any organization, we need people who have a variety of skills:  docents, exhibitors, handymen, carpenters, gardeners, laboratory analysts, office skills, computer data entry, retrieval, and programming.  If you want to help the birds, we have a place for you!

We want you to gain knowledge about the Sanctuary so we encourage you to read all of our literature. Flyers, brochures, and bird guides are available at the Sanctuary office or gift shop Feel free to ask staff and volunteers any questions you may have about the Sanctuary. Everyone wants you to feel comfortable and a member of the Sanctuary team as quickly as possible. The vast amount of avian knowledge that many of our staff and volunteers have can be overwhelming at first. Don't let this discourage you. This knowledge will come to you gradually.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS 
  • Possess an interest in birds and have the ability to work with wild birds and the general public. 
  • The work you do as a volunteer is very important and requires a certain degree of training and acquired experience. Therefore, we ask that prospective volunteers commit to a minimum of 4 hours per shift. This can be done once a week or once a month.
  • The long term commitment we request is at least six months or two seasons for our seasonal volunteers. (Exceptions can be made!) Internships are available upon request.
  • As a Sanctuary volunteer you will be asked to commit to a dependable schedule. (One of your preference and convenience.) When working with animals, it is imperative that a consistent schedule of feeding, cleaning etc. is adhered to. 
  • It is required that all volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement and Sanctuary release form releasing the Sanctuary of any responsibility for injury or illness.
  • A basic dress code is to be followed:  No tank tops, midriff tops, cut-off shorts, or offensive T-Shirts. Shoes are required.
  • Children and all other persons other than Sanctuary volunteers are not permitted to  accompany you during your scheduled volunteer time. Your work is important and requires your undivided attention.
  • The Sanctuary is a Drug Free workplace. No exceptions will be allowed.
  •  A mature and responsible attitude is required at all times. Your volunteer tenure can be reevaluated and terminated at the discretion of the Sanctuary staff at any time.

 

 BENEFITS

 

    It is very gratifying to assist in the rescue, repair, rehabilitation and release of rehabilitated  wild      birds. To know that your work enables these animals to once again fly free is extremely fulfilling.

 

    The opportunity to meet new friends with common interests and a common goal.

 

    A welcome invitation to all volunteer cookouts on the beach and holiday parties.

 

    A letter of reference and a certificate of appreciation.

 

   Documentation of hours for college community service requirements.

 

    Letter of recommendation for college requirements (if needed).

      

   Valuable work experience to add to your career resume.

     

   An ongoing learning experience regarding indigenous wild birds and the environment.

 


HAVE FUN AND SAVE THE BIRDS!
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