Friday, December 4, 2015

Our Newest Naturalist

My name is Tess Rogers, and I am the newest naturalist here at World Bird Sanctuary!  I started at the beginning of this month, and am having a great time learning all about our wonderful birds.

I am originally from St.Louis, where I’ve lived for most of my life.  As a native St. Louisan I will provide the obligatory high school information--Maplewood Richmond-Heights.  For all of you not from St. Louis, it’s a well known fact that the first question asked when two St. Louis natives meet for the first time is….”what high school did you go to?”

For college I decided to get away from home, broaden my horizons, and apparently never be warm again as I went north to attend the University of Minnesota.  I had a fantastic four years there, during which I went even further away from home to do a semester abroad in Australia.

Myself and an irate Tufted Titmouse, one of the first birds I banded with WBS this summer!
 Upon Graduating this spring I returned home to St. Louis where, through a research fellowship, I started to get involved with the World Bird Sanctuary by working with the fantastic bird banding team. When I was told they might have a job opening coming up in the fall, I jumped at the opportunity to apply.  And here I am!

Thus far I absolutely love my job. There has been quite the learning curve working with raptors, as the most dangerous birds I had handled previously were cardinals.  That being said, getting to meet all the birds and starting to learn their individual personalities has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my days here.  My other favorite part, by far, is getting to tell people all about each bird when they come to visit, especially the kids. When I was little I adored animals, and when kids (and even some adults) come in to the Nature Center full of excitement and a list of facts about their favorite kinds of animals, I immediately feel a kinship with them since I WAS them.  Getting to teach them even more is by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have had while at work.  I know from personal experience I may very well be helping inspire the next batch of conservationists or even naturalists.

The kestrels and I have made fast friends. Though they may just be using me for my access to food if I’m being honest
 So if you see a naturalist down at the Nature Center or at the Visitors Center arguing with a bird about why they should not bite the glove, or seems to be taking longer than usual to tie their leashes to a perch, that just might be me.  I’m still getting the one-handed dexterity thing down.

The next time you visit the World Bird Sanctuary feel free to say hello, and level any questions you may have at me!

Submitted by Tess Rogers, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

No comments: