Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wish List

Alright, so what do cat litter boxes, duct tape, plastic gloves, and batteries all have in common??  

They are all things we need to help our birds, in some way, shape or form.  Ok, now you’re thinking… what the heck?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Chrys, our Long Crested Eagle, after a refreshing bath in her own personal cat litter pan

Cat litter boxes – those brightly colored bins that cats put icky things into.  Well, here at WBS, we don’t quite see them that way.  We use them as water bowls for our birds.  We do require that when people donate them, they have to be brand new, of course.  The litter boxes are the perfect size for a hawk, owl or falcon to jump into and have a nice, healthy bath whenever they choose.  We wash the bowls on a regular basis and always make sure the water is clean and fresh.  They are especially appreciated when it rains – the birds seem to think that a bath and a shower at the same time is a great idea!!

Duct tape - that wonderful silver stuff that binds the universe together - is also extremely important for us when we travel with our birds.  You see, when we have to stay overnight somewhere with raptors, we need to bring their perches and all their support equipment.  When we set the perches up, we can’t just place them on the floor – many of our birds are strong enough that they could drag them around the room, getting into a lot of trouble.  So, we use duct tape to secure the perches to the floor.  This way our birds are safe all night long. 

Plastic gloves – we see them all the time on the medical dramas on TV.  We don’t use them for human medical treatments, of course, but they come in so handy for keeping clean when we work with the raptors’ food.  When we feed our birds rats, mice, quail and other food items, we always prepare the food first.  Since our birds eat dead animals, we gut the food.  This makes sure that the intestines and other internal organs that could go bad are removed.  Also, our birds are very well fed – they usually only eat the parts that are especially tasty.  Organs are not normally on that list.  Anything they don’t like, they fling off to the side.  That means more clean-up for us.  Yuck.  Plastic gloves keep our hands clean when we gut the food.  They are also great for cleaning up the scraps that the birds leave behind.

Staff member, Trina Whitener, using a battery operated portable sound system
Batteries – no our birds are not battery-operated!  We do educational programs all across the country with our birds.  Many places have sound systems that we can use, but some small organizations, schools, or scouting groups, can’t afford to have their own sound system.  We have a couple of different portable systems that we can take on the road, but they all require 9V or AAA batteries to keep them going.  If we can’t be heard, we can’t teach about these great animals!!

If you would like to donate any of these things, we would so greatly appreciate it!  We have a full wish list available – just e-mail, call or even send us a self addressed stamped envelope.

Submitted by Laura MacLeod, World Bird Sanctuary Education Coordinator

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