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Bird Keeper

Blank Park Zoo
Des Moines, United States Posted: June 01, 2024


This position is under the direct supervision of the Bird Supervisor and is responsible for performing a variety of tasks related to animal care of approximately 35 species of birds including Cassowary, Crowned Cranes, Sarus Cranes, Budgerigars, Kori Bustards, Blue Cranes, Kookaburras, Cinereous Vultures, Tawny Frogmouth, Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon, Black Swan, Eclectus Parrot and 2 species of reptiles including Aldabra Tortoises. Please note that this team does not take care of the zoo’s penguins.  

Essential Functions
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
  • Provides for husbandry needs of all animals in care by participating in daily cleaning, diet preparation, feeding, training, enrichment, and daily observations.
  • Responsible for daily observation of animal health and welfare. Reports abnormal behavior and problems to area supervisor. Maintains accurate daily records of animal collection.
  • Cooperates and assists with veterinary treatments and instructions.
  • Participates in membership programs including tours, presentations and lectures.
  • Adheres to established animal handling, chick, breeding, and related safety protocols.  Participates in established animal escape drills and procedures.  Under supervision, captures, restrains, and transports animals.        
  • Assists in protected and free contact training animals for husbandry and medical needs using operant conditioning.
  • Performs minor repairs and improvements of exhibits under supervision.
  • Identifies and communicates with maintenance repairs needed for the safety of animals, visitors and staff as well as overall upkeep of the facilities.
  • Functions effectively in both team and individual settings, and works toward adopting and creating best animal welfare practices.
  • Collaborates with area supervisor and team to achieve common husbandry goals. 
  • Actively supports area policies and procedures, mission, vision, values, and strategic plan of the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Competencies
  • Resourceful - Understanding of, or has the ability to, research all applicable topics as they relate to modern zoological management, operations of an attraction and customer service. 
  • Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments while also maintaining composure in an environment that can be stressful.
  • Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  • Clear communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Critical thinking- Ability to make decisions while under pressure or solve complex problems that arise on a daily basis.
  • Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to animal care.
  • Efficient- Ability to complete tasks in a thorough but quick manner.
  • Customer–oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and all situations.
Supervisory/Management Responsibilities
  •  Assists with supervision of interns, volunteers, and seasonal staff.
Work Environment
  • While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk on even terrain, climb, and utilize manual dexterity to use various tools, machines, and equipment.
  • Most of the job tasks are completed inside.
  • However, the incumbent is occasionally exposed to all types of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold, snow, hail, wind, and rain. Some work is required in small and/or confined spaces. 
  • Incumbents are exposed to noisy environments such as mowers and motors. 
Requirements
Physical Requirements
  • The physical requirements described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.
  •   Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to successfully perform the essential functions.
  • Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.
  • Never     
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly   
  • Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
  • Never   
  • Occasionally     
  • Constantly
  • Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
  • Never   
  •  Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
  • Never     
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Adjusting or moving objects up to 50 pounds in all directions.
  • Never       
  •  Occasionally       
  • Constantly
  • Communicating with others to exchange information.
  • Never       
  •  Occasionally   
  •  Constantly
  • Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
  • Never     
  •  Occasionally     
  •  Constantly
  • Operating machinery and/or power tools.
  • Never     
  • Occasionally     
  •  Constantly
  • Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
  • Never     
  • Occasionally       
  • Constantly
  • Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
  • Never   
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Driving.
  • Never   
  •  Occasionally     
  • Constantly
  • Stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling –
  • Never     
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Reaching with hands and arms.
  • Never   
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Tasting or smelling.
  • Never     
  • Occasionally   
  • Constantly
  • Vision
  • Close vision; 
  • Distant vision; 
  • Color vision; 
  • Peripheral vision; 
  • Depth perception; 
  • Ability to adjust focus
  • Lifting Requirement.
  • > than 50 pounds     
  • Up to 50 pounds       
  • Up to 40 pounds       
  • Up to 25 pounds             
  • Up to 10 pounds
  • Additional eligibility requirements
  • Must be insurable to drive a zoo vehicle.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo
  • Must be able to operate various equipment, including skid loaders, trailers, and large vehicles.
  • Must be able to maintain calm and act professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license or ability to obtain.
  • Willing to obtain First Aid/CPR Training.
  • Other Duties
  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.
  • Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 
Experience Required
  • Four-year college degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Ecology, or a related field.
  • 1+ years of paid experience in animal husbandry (preferably in a zoo setting).
  • Experience with Microsoft office, Excel spreadsheets, and Google drive are encouraged.
Further Comments
  • Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and give employment and promotional consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected class as required by local, state, or federal law.
Perks
  • We seek applicants for employment who are dedicated, hardworking and seek fulfilling employment
  • . In return Blank Park Zoo offers competitive income, benefits, and an excellent working environment.
Salary
  • To Be Determined

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