Monday, July 4, 2011

And soda cans take 200 years to decompose...

This week has been the beginning of my participation in the education part of Horizon wings. Monday we had a program at a Starbase camp near Bradley airport in which I did the environmental part of our program. This section is supposed to be about 10 minutes long and we talk about things people can do to help protect the environment, more specifically recycling. We have a few items like a soda can, plastic bag, fishing line, and a few other things that we explain what happens to them when they are thrown away in the trash or thrown in the environment. Also to beat home the point we tell them how long it takes said item to decompose, and that brings the reality to it. Being this was an environmental camp so they were really into the whole talk, even asking questions which we usually don't do with this part. When we got back from the program I got to unjess Athena and feed the turtles. That's the funniest thing to watch and hear is a turtle eating some earthworms.

On Wednesday it was just Jeanne and I at work. We spent the majority of the day cleaning out the travel boxes. Not that most people see the inside or care what the birds come in, but some of the birds can be pretty nasty. It's mostly the hawks and falcons that make the biggest mess. So we cleaned out the inside of all of them and polished the outside. Boy do they look pretty now, which is good because we are being flooded with programs. After cleaning I had the task of weighing all of the babies we have now, which is up to 6 (2 Barred owls, a Great horned, Screech, Red-tailed, and Red-sholdered). It's fun trying to catch a feisty, flighted baby bird. The Red-tailed was constantly jumping when I went to grab for his upper leg. The Barred owls flew everywhere and hung from the ceiling. Little baby Screech owl stirred up all of the other owls in the aviary flying around. The worst of them all was the baby Red-sholdered hawk. From the moment I walked into the aviary the bird started screeching like crazy, hopping back and forth. I was afraid it was going to jump on my head being it was on a perch above me. Birds defiantly keep you on your toes, which is a important thing to learn in my field. If you let your guard down for even a second you could be dealing with a talon wound.

Thursday was our next program day for another summer camp. I went to jess up Herc the Screech owl for the program, but come to find out he had a gunky eye. Mary-beth thinks something scratched up his nictitating membrane, or third eye lid. So I had to catch Cedar and jess her up, which was fun. We also brought along Chico, Oscar, and Athena. I had to do the environmental portion again AND talk about Chico. I feel like I did alright when I did my talk on Chico, even though I did miss a few facts. No matter how many times I have to do a talk in public I'm always nervous. The only bad part about my Chico talk was that he got tangled up in his jesses when I went to go put him back in his box. I wasn't entertained by that because I had to do my environment portion! Jeanne helped me untangle him while Mary-beth started the talk off. Other than that it was a great group of kids that were engaged and asked a lot of good questions.

Like usual, Friday was cleaning day. Patricia showed up about an hour after Jeanne, Brenda, and I had already started. We had to clean faster than usual today because we had a family coming over for a tour of the facility and see the owls. When we were done I went and talked to Julian, in which I got a very quiet and shy "Who's a good bird". That many my day more than anything. When the group got there Jeanne gave them a tour while the 3 of us got out some owls. I had Cedar, Patricia had Silo, and Brenda had Emyrs. While Brenda and Patrica were talking about the birds Jeanne grabbed Oscar. They loved being able to see the owls up close. That's probably one of the more rewarding parts of doing educations or up close and personal things is see people’s faces light up when they're that close.

Well this week is going to be a short-ish one due to the holidays. Hope everyone has a happy 4th of July.

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