American Kestrel Research Apprentice

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Deadline to Apply:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 11:45pm


Wilmington, DE
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon species. Since the 1960s, kestrels have seen a decline of 88% in their population. More research is necessary to determine the cause of decline in this small, insect-eating bird, but evidence suggests that pesticide accumulation, increased predation by more urban-adaptable raptors, as well as habitat loss may be primary factors.

The Delaware Kestrel Partnership is working with multiple organizations, including The Brandywine Zoo, DE Fish and Wildlife, Delmarva Ornithological Society, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, and the Peregrine Fund's American Kestrel Partnership, a citizen science program, to focus on kestrel populations in the United States. The Brandywine Zoo is working as a facilitator for this program in the state of Delaware. Research apprentices will be responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of kestrel nest boxes across the state of Delaware, logging data and creating research parameters. The goals of this research at this point in time is identifying kestrel habitat as well as presence and absence, in order to collect baseline information for Delaware for future research. 


  • Maintenance of currently installed kestrel boxes in various state parks in DE (currently 48 installed around the state, with more to come).
  • Site location identification and installation of new kestrel boxes. 
  • Outreach to potentia partners for kestrel sites or program support. Continuing relationship with Delaware Kestrel Partnership program partners.
  • Regular, weekly check-ups on kestrel boxes during nesting season (Feb/Mar-July/Aug). Starling nest abatement.
  • Logging data, data analysis, uploading data to, and communicating with, American Kestrel Partnership.
  • Creation of reports on kestrels in DE.
  • Installation of camera traps and analyzing camera trap photographs.
  • Recruitment of volunteers to assist in kestrel monitoring or data analysis.
  • Development of educational resources for the American kestrel. Forming partnerships with local schools for kestrel box monitoring. Delivery of kestrel programming to school groups.
  • Grant writing for continued support of Kestrel Program


  • Research techniques; research methodology
  • Bird of prey identification; Plant identification
  • American kestrel natural history knowledge
  • GPS/GIS applications; use of appropriate equipment including but not limited to GPS, GIS, motion-sensored cameras, etc.
  • Grant writing
  • Educational programming experience (teaching and writing); and data recording, analysis, and presentation.
  • The position is physically demanding at times, requiring outdoor work in a variety of temperatures and sometimes challenging conditions. Candidates must be able to climb a ladder.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and at times provide own transportation to field sites.
  • Must be able to lift at least 50 lbs.


  • At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Provide proof of negative TB Test within the last 12 months before start date
  • Good physical condition: able to stand/walk for extended periods of time, kneel, crouch, and able to work in all weather conditions.
  • Be able to lift up to 25 pounds
  • Must be fluent in the English language (verbal and written communication)
  • Overall GPA must be 2.5 or higher
  • Good organizational skills
  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently
  • Willing to assist with administrative, customer relations, and housekeeping tasks and possibly animal care
  • Able to commit to upholding all Zoo safety and personnel policies, and support the overall mission
  • Able to professionally represent the Brandywine Zoo in all interactions with visitors, staff, and other members of the community
  • Complete a project of the intern’s own design, and approved by zoo staff, during the internship period


1 year: Position runs winter 2017 through winter 2018 (flexible start time, upon arrangement).

  • Candidates must be responsible, flexible, self-motivated and able to work both independently as well as in a team.


35 hours per week, this position may include regular hours on weekends. 


  • Housing may be available free
  • Salary
  • $100/week stipend, housing available on a first-come basis.

How to Apply:

1) Complete online intern application at 2) Indicate Preference for American Kestrel Apprentice position 3) You will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator of the Brandywine Zoo for screening and interviewing.

Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE 19802
Phone: 302-571-7850