Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Amazing Opportunities

Working at World Bird Sanctuary has given me so many memorable experiences.
I’ve had the chance to dress up at a renaissance fair.  Doing shows in a dress was interesting and fun.  I also got to visit many of the other booths at the fair, and each had a lot to teach and show just as our World Bird Sanctuary displays and presentations did.

A Harris' Hawk landing on my glove during an education program 

I had the opportunity to go to Keokuk, Iowa for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Eagle Days.  Here we did shows in a movie theater and made the front page of the local magazine.  We also got to see dances the Native Americans did to show their respect for the Bald Eagle.  At the Eagle Days there was also a group from an insect zoo.  We learned about different spiders, scorpions, and other sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies.

Educating an audience about Tawny Owls

My most recent trip was to Minnesota.  Here we did programs for Carpenter Nature Center.  Carpenter Nature Center has a lot of the same goals as WBS.  They are not as big as we are, so they asked us to come out and help spread the word.  Here I got to see how another nature center works.  I had the opportunity to go snowshoeing, see a wild Snowy Owl, and we got to eat in Wisconsin, so I can now say I have been to both states.  My favorite part of this trip was seeing the wild Snowy Owl.  Thanks to WBS I got to see an owl I would not have normally seen in Missouri.  When I went snowshoeing we were looking for other owls that had been seen in the area, such as Short- eared, Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls.
Tundra, WBS's female Snowy Owl--I actually got to see one in the wild!  (photo: Gay Schroer)

One thing that I’ve learned from all this is that everyone has something to teach and there is always something new to learn.  Though I went to these programs to teach the public about birds of prey and how they can help our environment, I came home having learned so much about so many other things. 

It makes me happy and excited that there are other people out there who work hard to teach others what they have learned.  If nobody stood up for what they believed then we would lose a lot of what we have in this world.

To see many of the birds mentioned in this article come visit WBS the next time you are looking for free outdoor entertainment.  We have many of these birds on display and easily visible to the public.

Submitted by Christina Rankin, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

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