Wow, this summer has flown by so, so fast! I can’t believe this is my last week, and sadly that also means my last blog post about the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience for the summer :/
This has been such an incredibly valuable experience and the best summer job ever! I have learned so much, met so many awesome people, and worked with some amazing birds!
I learned that each bird has a separate personality and all of our girls are divas :). I also learned that two pounds is way heavier than it sounds! I discovered that with practice, my public speaking is not too bad, and that there is always something new and cool to learn. I learned to “Smile, because you’re always on camera,” and the people I work with make this job even better than I could have imagined!
I will do one final update on the birds for everyone :). Poor Isham was attacked by a bunch of robins this morning during the relaxing session, and we had to take him inside—Darn robins! Teasdale is being fractionally less grumpy as the summer cools off :). Haya is her diva self and a fast eater as usual, though she was smoked in the race today! Suli seems to be getting over her fear of things with wheels, which is a plus, but she’s still pretty weird… :).
And wonderful Kateri seems to have recovered from our incident last Thursday, thank goodness! What incident, you may ask? Well, it was my second time holding her in public and we were out for the last half of the afternoon relaxing period. Nicole had held her with no problems for the first half hour, and for about 15 minutes with me, no big deal. Then she suddenly bated, tried to leave my glove (this was my first ever bate!) and we got back up with relative ease–not a terrible first bate. And then she bated a few more times, and Melissa said that we should take her in. First mistake on my part, I forgot to bring the cane with me, because I was not expecting her to bate with the hood on so I thought it would be a quick put away–I was quite mistaken!
We made it to the gate area, and then she spooked and bated at least three times, got through the gate, and then she bated again! This time though, she lost her hood, and then every time I bent down to grab it, she bated. Brandon came out of the Mews to hand me a cane, and then heads back inside. I finally grabbed the hood, got it on, and then we rested for a minute. Then she started again, and we were having a hard time! Brandon came out again and helped give some direction, and after a few more bates, we managed to get her into her mew and Brandon came with me to help take her equipment off. He managed to take off one clip, and then she went again, losing her hood. At this point, we are both hot and tired and my arm is about to fall off, and she can’t get back up with only the one jess on her ankle, so it’s Melissa to the rescue! With poor Kateri flailing around, Melissa grabs the one attached jess and scoops her up and I get out of the mew. I was so tired and full of adrenaline at the same time that I was shaking! As the awesome volunteer LaDaun put it, I am now seasoned when it comes to handling Kateri’s bates!
Needless to say, for the rest of the weekend, Kateri only had to come out for the 11:30 a.m. program, and Melissa held her so she could try to see if anything was wrong. By Monday, she seemed to be doing just fine, and LaDaun was able to handle her with few problems. Phew, we are glad she’s back to somewhat-normal!
On another note, today, being one of my final days here, we are doing a photo shoot with me and each of the birds! We did everyone but Kateri this morning, and Melissa took some great photos!
The volunteers who spend so much of their time here taking care of and showing off these awesome birds deserve a big thanks for all they do! They do so amazingly well, and they made my summer so fun! Thank you all from me, and I wish you all lots of happiness!
Melissa, Brandon, and Nicole were also a part of making this summer so great :). They all helped me so much, and put up with my scary clumsy self. I don’t know about them, but I had a great time hanging out almost every day, eating dinner at Melissa’s, going out to dinner with everyone, and just being goofy and funny around each other. Such amazing people that I was so lucky to work with! Best of luck in everything!
Also, Melissa will be taking over the blog once more, but she will still be busy for a while, so if she can’t do it all the time, hang in there!
One last reminder to follow our awesome birds on Facebook! Melissa obviously does some great photography, and she usually posts new pictures at least once a week, it is really worth the like!
And last but not least, thanks to all of those who are reading! The whole blog thing is new to me, and it has been fun :). I hope everyone has a great end of the summer! If there are any questions that you would like me to answer about this awesome program and the great people and the wicked cool birds, I will answer them!
All the best,