It’s that time of year again when the Wildlife Center staff reminisce about the fun, the unusual, the humorous, and the exciting moments that have happened at the Center during the past 12 months. As a member of the outreach team, I have had my fair share of memorable moments.
Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog
This week, we received a nice note from a Wildlife Center supporter about the surprise she received in honor of her retirement. We thought we’d share here!
When I first applied for the rehabilitation externship here at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, my email started with: “I am in love with a Turkey Vulture.” The vulture I was referring to is an educational animal I worked with at the New Mexico Wildlife Center (formerly The Wildlife Center) out in Espanola, New Mexico. His name is Sol, and he opened up my eyes to the fabulous world of vultures. I’ve been hooked ever since.
During my externship, I was fortunate to work through most of the fall “squirrel season”.
At the end of December 2011, one of our supporters sent us a donation, along with this explanation. Since then, she continues the tradition every holiday season. With the 2014 holiday season upon us, we thought you would enjoy reading this as much as we do every year at this time!
As a bank teller, I come into contact with dozens of customers every day, some having the "gift for gab". I've noticed the last few years during the holiday season I am asked the question over and over again, "Are you ready for Christmas?"
Well, here we are ... at the end of what has been a very rewarding and educational experience. I've had a great time learning here, and I feel much more confident about my ability to affect change through outreach now than when I arrived two short months ago.
Hummingbirds are small birds found throughout North, Central, and South America characterized by thin needlelike bills, colorful iridescent feathers, and fast wing beats that create a humming or buzzing noise when flying or hovering. Hummingbirds are currently placed in the order Apodiformes, along with swifts, and make up the family Trochilidae.
I am at week five of my seven-week outreach externship. I'm very excited to bring home with me what I've learned here and put it into practice. I've learned a lot about writing for digital media, such as how to capture the tone for an education animal update or what kind of language to use when updating supporters on the status of a patient. I've shadowed my mentors on several tours through the facility and soon after led a few of my own. I've also learned how to handle several of the education animals like Albus the Eastern Ratsnake and Grayson the Broad-winged Hawk.
I always knew I wanted to work directly with animals, but was never clear on exactly how or in what capacity. This made it difficult for me to focus my efforts and go in a straight line toward a career, but I knew a biology degree was a good start.
I have to admit, when I began my externship at the Wildlife Center I had quite a lot to learn about our native North American wildlife. I imagined I would encounter many squirrels, rabbits, deer, and opossum (and I was excited about the opportunity) but I had no idea I would be introduced to so many fascinating species that I didn’t even know existed.