It’s time to look back on 2018! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2018 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
The highlight of my time volunteering at the Wildlife Center during 2018 most certainly was being trained to handle Grayson, the Broad-winged Hawk.
In my previous outreach volunteer work at the Center, I had handled only snakes and turtles, so it was really exciting to be able to handle a raptor. The staff explained that Grayson is typically the first raptor that volunteers are trained to handle since she is usually very calm and accepting of new handlers. I found that to be true as I was just a little nervous the first time I handled Grayson -- but she stayed very calm the whole time while remaining very attentive to all that was going on around her.
It has been a lot of fun to show Grayson to tour groups and school groups at the Center and I enjoy telling the story about how the staff first thought Grayson was a male hawk until one day eggs were found in her enclosure, providing positive proof that Grayson indeed is a female.
In November, I was happy to hear that Grayson and the other educational ambassadors at the Center were not injured in the ice storm that hit Waynesboro, even though the enclosure complex that housed Grayson was destroyed by a fallen tree. Hopefully, the enclosures will be replaced soon so we can again host tour groups at the Center and I can continue to share Grayson's story.