Jobs in America

Seasonal Bird Keeper

Blank Park Zoo
Des Moines
High School 1 Year

This position is based in Des Moines, but the company is open to considering applicants from outside the area who possess the necessary skills. To apply for this job vacancy, it is essential to have completed High School. The job vacancy entitled Seasonal Bird Keeper was announced on July 8, 2024, and it will be removed on August 5, 2024. Blank Park Zoo has a range of job types available, including internship, so consider whether it aligns with your preferences. Work experience in the same field for at least 12 months is a prerequisite for this job. You have the opportunity to negotiate your salary with the employer based on the company's approach to employee career planning and growth opportunities. The place where work will be done is Des Moines , IA , Des Moines , IA.

Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.

Seasonal Bird Keeper

Position Purpose

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 we do not take care of the zoo’s penguins or trumpeter swans.  

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.        
  • 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.


  • 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


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. 


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

☐ 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


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☒ 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.


  • Valid 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.

Affirmative Action/EEO statement

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.

Experience Required

Four-year college degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Ecology, or a related field. Experience along with a college degree can be interchangeable at a rate of 1 year of college to 1 year of experience. 1+ years of paid experience in animal husbandry (preferably in a zoo setting). Experience with Microsoft office, Excel spreadsheets, and Google drive are encouraged.


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.


To Be Determined

How to Apply

To apply, click the link. 

Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: 515.285.4722

Useful link(s) for this job

  • click apply button below

The job posting is a valuable resource to determine if this job aligns with your work-life balance priorities. We encourage individuals who have thoroughly evaluated this job posting and feel that they can meet the expectations to apply. Please make sure to read the job requirements and responsibilities carefully before applying. In the end, the quality of your job application is what will make or break your chances of being hired.