I always knew I wanted to work directly with animals, but was never clear on exactly how or in what capacity. This made it difficult for me to focus my efforts and go in a straight line toward a career, but I knew a biology degree was a good start.
Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog
I have to admit, when I began my externship at the Wildlife Center I had quite a lot to learn about our native North American wildlife. I imagined I would encounter many squirrels, rabbits, deer, and opossum (and I was excited about the opportunity) but I had no idea I would be introduced to so many fascinating species that I didn’t even know existed.
The intelligence of corvids [a family of passerine birds] has been well-documented in recent years via experiments, enrichment activities, and other research endeavors. These studies have given recognition to corvids for their high levels of intelligence. From the American Crow to the Common Raven, the corvid group, which is compromised of ravens, crows, magpies, jays, rooks, and jackdaws, is proving to have a brain with the knowledge to be reckoned with.
The time I have spent at the Wildlife Center of Virginia over the past 12 weeks has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Growing up not far from this area, I have been familiar with the Center and its outreach since I was a child. My dad and I even brought in an injured hummingbird when I was a kid! But I had never seen the rehabilitation side of things, and as an environmental science major, interested in conservation, this externship seemed like a perfect fit.
During the summer, the Wildlife Center of Virginia rehabilitates a variety of species. One of my personal favorites are bats. During the 12 weeks I spent as a summer extern, multiple baby bats came into our care. The most common species that we rehabilitate is the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus).
At the beginning of the summer, the Wildlife Center of Virginia was inundated with all kinds of baby animals: rabbits, opossums, squirrels, and songbirds. Our youthful collection became complete when the first White-tailed Deer fawn of the season was admitted on May 24.
Before starting my twelve-week wildlife rehabilitation externship, I thought I knew a lot about the native wildlife here in Virginia. It turns out that I had an incredible amount to learn! It would be impossible to write everything I discovered about wildlife in one blog post, so I decided to talk about three major myths I believed before they were debunked during my training.
I would first like to start this blog with a warning: if you get a queasy stomach or are about to read this while eating, I would advise against continuing. That’s because I’m the veterinary diagnostic intern, so I spend most of my day in the laboratory looking at blood and fecal samples. I thought I’d discuss some of the hitchhikers that come in with our patients.
Here I come to share my wild experience, but first I would like to mention that I’ve been in the United States for three months and a half, I visited Florida for half a month and then I arrived at the green Waynesboro City Virginia, staying here for 12 unforgettable weeks.
Baby season is an overwhelming time of year for many people here; the front desk staff is no exception. During our busiest time of year, I spend the majority of my day answering calls and putting people on hold to answer more calls.