It’s time to look back on 2013! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2013 from the staff, students, and volunteers of the Wildlife Center.
A memorable moment for me involved learning to feed the baby birds, and in particular, the baby grackles of which there were MANY in the spring. The grackles ended up at the Center when their nesting trees were cut down. Leighann took me up to the Aviary and talked me through the process of filling a syringe with a special bird formula. Leighann watched as I fed the babies that were housed in the hallway of the aviary. Then together we both went in to the big enclosures to feed the large number of grackles in the aviary, making sure to not let any of them escape into the anteroom.
In one aviary, the grackles were older and tended to avoid us other than to get a squirt of the gruel. The other aviary was a different story. These birds were younger and were eager to be fed -- and the baby birds seemed to be everywhere! They were in the tree, on the table, on the perch-line that was strung across the aviary, and were just flying about. And we fed them – the grackles were eager eaters, letting us know that they wanted more.
After we returned to the Center and an hour had passed, Leighann asked if I wanted to go back to the Aviary and she asked if I wanted her to come with me. I was fairly confident that I could do this, so I went back up to the Aviary by myself to feed the young grackles. Filling my syringes with the special mixture, I entered the aviary after again making sure not to let any of the baby birds get into the anteroom. Tippi Hedren was running from the birds - and when I entered the aviary, I knew how she must have felt! The baby birds were again everywhere all at once! They were on the table, on the line that was strung, in the trees, sitting on my shoulder, and then to make it even more complicated, they perched on my arm while I was trying to feed them. And goodness they were noisy. I gave as many as I could a little squirt of the food, and when the syringes were empty, I went back to the anteroom to fill up syringes and went back in again. I repeated this several times and each baby bird was given a little of the food mixture.
When I walked out of the Aviary later that day, I found myself laughing at the fact that Tippi had nothing on me - her scene in "The Birds" was movie magic, my scene was Wildlife Center magic!
Keep checking the Wildlife Center's blog for more year-end posts this week!