That about sums it up.
Not only are we in the full swing of training for summer, but I decided that “the boys” could use some exercise too. Fortunately I was smart enough to ask a couple volunteers for help on the project and Rose and Anne have each agreed to take on a bird’s exercise routine for me. They are life savers!
Rose started first with Isham, our red-tailed hawk. With his eye problems I really didn’t expect much more than for him to hop a foot or so from the glove to the perch. He has blown me away, however! After a mere twelve days of work, he is flying about nine feet! All we needed to do was figure out how to compensate for his vision. Didn’t take us long to realize that the perch just needs to be placed directly to his left instead of in front of him. I tell you what—this boy has potential!
Teasdale, our great horned owl, has been working hard with Anne on his exercise routine as well. Owls, in general, are much more difficult to get to fly, but it is possible. The first challenge for Anne was to teach Teasdale that he is supposed to get off the glove and step onto the perch. At first it didn’t seem like he’d ever get it but all of a sudden…he began flying! While every once in a while he has an “off day” (as all the birds do) Teasdale has made amazing strides and there’s a real possibility he just might be a flyer some day too!
I’m so proud of my volunteers and the birds! This is a brand new experience for all of them and they are doing better than I ever hoped.
On top of all the daily flying activity around here we’re gearing up for a very special event: International Migratory Bird Day! The second Saturday in May is a day of celebration and awareness for bird enthusiasts everywhere and a chance for avian organizations, like ourselves, to bring to light the issues that birds face as they make the journey to their nesting grounds.
This year I jumped in with both feet. The Draper Natural History Museum is hosting “Birtopia!” our very own IMBD celebration. We will have informational tables on recycling, backyard birding, avian rehabilitation, avoiding bird collisions, and much, MUCH more. There will be fun activities for kids (and adults too) including make your own bird feeder, a migration obstacle course, create a birding journal, and a biotoxin interactive game. And last but not least, the birds will there to share their stories and be admired by all. Who knows, maybe we’ll even do a short program for all our guests :0)
If you happen to be in Cody on Friday, May 11, stop in to check out the fun from 2 to 6 p.m. in our Braun Garden. The activites and goodies are free with regular admission and you’re sure to walk away with some shwag & a smile.