Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fourth week, visitor education and a special rescue

6/20, 6/21

I started doing visitor education this week. After cleanings, feedings, and enrichment is finished in the morning I went out with my friend Laura to talk about Barred owls and Red-Tailed hawks. I had spent the previous day reading up on barred owls, learning the main facts about them and how to differentiate bird types using feathers. 

                We went out with wings, feathers, owl pellets, replica skulls, and a bunch of other cool related objects. I tried my best to make it interesting and fun for every age level. Younger kids really enjoyed touching the feathers and comparing the super soft owl feather to the very coarse turkey feather. Older kids asked a lot of questions about anatomy and history, and adults sat back and just absorbed the information they heard. Everyone learned something which made me feel accomplished. The table was set up between the barred owl and red-tail cages so visitors could visually compare the artifacts to their respective animals!

                I also started handling raptors this week. The entire process from putting the glove on to putting the bird in its bird box was explained. I started with one of the smallest raptors around here, an eastern screech owl! It was a lot of fun even though I made a few mistakes. I really hope to get good at handling so I can start doing visitor education with them. That’s definitely a huge part of this internship that I’m looking forward to. 

               As a side note, I had an interesting experience this sunday. On my way home from Maine I drove down a main street near my house and saw a poof of feathers flapping around on the ground. My father pulled up in front of it and I used a brown reusable bag to pick it up. Turns out it was an eastern screech owl that had been hit by a car. I put it in a makeshift birdbox overnight and brought him to Tufts Wildlife vet clinic in North Grafton, MA the next morning. Luckily enough he had no fractures or broken bones, just head trauma and eye inflammation. It was really strange though, considering I had picked up a screech owl for the first time in my life a few days before.

No comments: