Macaw Conservation Volunteer in Costa Rica – All year-round, 1 month minimum

Macaw Recovery Network

Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Latin America

Job Type Unpaid
Salary Details n\a (Free Accomodation)
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

We are looking for volunteers to join us in November, or December.

As a volunteer, you'll play a vital role in caring for and feeding the birds, providing them with enrichment, and maintaining the aviaries. This unique opportunity allows you to help preserve endangered parrot species, while immersing yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica's natures, practicing your Spanish, and getting to know the rich Costa Rican culture.

Macaw populations have declined significantly over the past decades. The main causes are illegal poaching for the pet trade and the loss of mature forest habitat, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. MRN's vision is to see a future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges. MRN’s breeding center consists of over 80 rescued non-releasable macaws, that through breeding and release of their offspring, can still contribute to the conservation of their wild relatives.


The applicant will be a caretaker at our Macaw Breeding Center during the non-breeding season. After a training period, the applicant will be given responsibility to care for a group of Macaws. Depending on the successes of the previous breeding season this includes caring for offspring and preparing them for release into the wild.

Volunteer Duties:

  • Daily food preparation and feeding of captive breeding birds, pre-release birds and supplementary feeding of the released flock
  • Regular site maintenance including aviary cleaning, providing perches and enrichment for captive birds and various other husbandry tasks
  • Monitoring the health and behavior of captive birds
  • Different general maintenance or development tasks may be assigned depending on our current needs and the skills and abilities of volunteers


The volunteer is expected to work 6 days a week, from 5.30am until 5pm with a three-hour break for lunch.

Duration of Work:

The minimum duration is one month with a maximum of 6 months. General availability is from the beginning of August through the end of December (some flexibility possible).

Other Benefits:

  • Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles
  • Increased skill in creative problem-solving
  • Increased skill in team-communication

Anticipated costs:

All international and national travel costs to initially get to the site are the responsibility of the applicant. However, once on site, accommodation, daily transport, and utilities are provided at no cost. All team members buy and prepare their own food, for this we recommend you budget for at least $100 per week, or more if you like luxuries. Comprehensive insurance cover for the entire stay is a must, and should be arranged and paid for by the applicant.

Comprehensive insurance cover for the entire stay is a must, and it should be arranged and paid for by the applicant. If staying for more than 90 days, doing a visa renewal trip is also the applicant's own responsibility. The most cost-effective option is going to Nicaragua via bus for a long weekend.


No previous experience or academic background in Biology is needed. However, applicants with a background in animal care/veterinary or carpentry/construction are preferred.

Desirable personal Qualities:

  • Dependable and responsible
  • Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute
  • Interested in bird and nature conservation
  • Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic
  • Sense of humor is helpful

Please send your resume/CV at volunteer@macawrecoverynetwork.org 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Wildlife
Tags Ornithology