Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog

Raptors are Excellent Co-workers

Reflecting on my time here as an outreach extern and then a rehab extern has been a bittersweet journey.  After seven and a half months of working at the Center, I’m on my way home.  These two positions have taught me a lot, both professionally and personally, and I’d like to share a few thoughts on my experiences of both.

Ed Clark at “El Festival de las Aves”

Earlier this month, I was invited to participate in “El Festival de las Aves” (The Festival of Birds) in Medellin, Colombia.  The festival is one of the largest celebrations of nature that takes place in Latin America each year.   I shared the story of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, and how the Center uses the care of individual wild animals to gain insights and information about problems facing all wild populations. 

Learning about Endangered Wildlife in Virginia

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started my rehabilitation externship at the Wildlife Center. I mostly wondered what kind of animals I’d work with;  I  realized pretty quickly that I did not know the wildlife in Virginia as well as I thought I did. Most embarrassingly, I honestly thought there were not nearly as many species of hawks as there are in Virginia. We got in every type very quickly, and I thought it was really cool to see them up close in person.

Respecting the “Cute” Wildlife

Rehabilitation externs at the Wildlife Center of Virginia often spend the day running around performing the next thing on a 10,000-page to-do list. It’s hard, physical, mind-intensive work. The hardest part is not getting too comfortable when around patients. Yes, they are cute. Yes, they are beautiful. But, every day I had to make sure that I didn’t let myself get too caught up in that. In the midst of everything that an extern does, I had to take the time each day to focus on the individual animals I had in front of me at any given moment. When you are tired, accidents can happen.

My Big Year

It’s official. This past July marked my one-year anniversary at the Wildlife Center of Virginia! Compared to some of my coworkers, that’s a pretty short amount of time -- a really short amount of time in some cases -- but it’s an important milestone to me, and it’s given me a chance to step back and reflect on the past 12 months.


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