Saturday, July 18, 2015

Junior Volunteers

Did you know that the World Bird Sanctuary has a Junior Volunteer program?  Some of our best and most valued volunteers began volunteering as a “Junior” volunteer. 

Shayne Sifford, for instance, began as a “Junior volunteer” back in February 2012.   Junior volunteers are not allowed to handle the Birds Of Prey.  However, Shayne and all junior volunteers are able to handle many of our mammals and reptiles during Junior Volunteer years.

Shayne Sifford handling Oliver the Screech Owl (photo: Mike Zieloski)
Once a Junior Volunteer reaches the magic age of 16, and has been volunteering for over 40 hours, they are eligible to begin handling the Birds Of Prey on a case-by-case basis.  Much of it depends on the person’s understanding of how their body movements and actions affect a bird behaviorally.  If a person is calm and can read the bird’s behavior then progress can be made.

Shayne began handling Birds Of Prey under the close supervision of staff members.  The pictures of Shayne with Oliver the Eastern Screech Owl, shows how much Shayne has advanced.  I love Shayne and his big heart.  I am glad to see this young man make such great progress.

Shayne is now 18 and will be a Senior at Lindbergh High School in August 2015.  His enthusiasm and strong work ethic never ceases to make me smile.

If you are between the ages of 13 and 16 you, too, can be a Junior Volunteer!  If you are 16 or older you can become a full-fledged volunteer eligible to handle birds of prey.  No prior experience with birds is necessary.  All training will be provided under the close supervision of our experienced staff. 

If you are interested in volunteering, go to our website and fill out the junior volunteer application and then be ready to attend our once per month Volunteer Orientation.

Submitted by, World Bird Sanctuary Director of Education Michael Zeloski

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