Hey everyone! My name is Katie, and I will be taking over this awesome blog for the rest of the summer…mwahahahaha! Wow, that makes me sound slightly evil… I’m really not, I’m just the klutz of the group this summer…so everything that happens is totally accidental… But anyway, back to the blog…I will be doing my best to step into Sarah’s shoes from last summer…wish me luck! 🙂
First, a tiny bit of background for Nicole and me, the newest interns in this awesome program! (Yes, Brandon is back, but you all know him and his awesome-ness). Both Nicole and I also attend good old UW (University of Wyoming) and we will both be juniors this fall. Nicole is from Texas, and gives awesome programs complete with “Hey y’all!” 🙂 She is majoring in Wildlife Biology and Management, and is a very smart and awesome person, not to mention funny and nice too! I went to high school a few hours south of Cody here in Wyoming, but have lived in Virginia, Texas, California, Idaho, and Colorado as well. I am a Biology major with a minor in Environment and Natural Resources, and I love to learn! I am also a major klutz, as was mentioned above… A common phrase used by our group: “Oh don’t worry, that’s just Katie being Katie.” Both of us really love (almost) everything about this job, but more on that later. 🙂
Although poor Melissa was having a rough May and June, as you may have read before, the summer so far has been an awesome experience for Nicole, Brandon, and I. I arrived late to this program, but everyone has been so great, and Nicole and I absolutely love working with the birds and amazingly incredible volunteers! Every day, though I’ve been at this for almost six weeks now, I feel so lucky every time I look at or pick up any of our awesome birds! During the relaxing periods, a lot of people ask how I am doing, and I start to give the automatic “I’m doing alright” and then I remember, I’m working with live raptors! I can’t really complain—I am very lucky!
Now that July has hit, it’s HOT, but I still can’t find much reason to be unhappy with my summer. I was saying earlier about how we love “almost” everything…did I mention public speaking doesn’t really come naturally to me? Yeah, I am the sweaty, shaky, horrible nervous laughter kind of person… My first official program that I gave all by myself was a week and a half ago. To put it nicely, it didn’t go so great, but I have now done the program four times, and I can proudly say that, with the help of Melissa, Brandon, Nicole, and every single volunteer, I am getting better every time! (It really does help when you tell the crowd you’re kinda new at this…) We all take turns giving the speech, which is very helpful to say the least!
The birds are their awesome selves, as per usual. Teasdale HATES the heat, with emphasis on the hate! It makes him more grumpy than usual, are you surprised? He is doing well, for the most part, and he especially loves his new box for the relaxing programs! Nate built a good-sized box to save poor Teasdale from the scary songbirds… and he is so happy! What a concept, right? 🙂
Isham is his usual gentlemanly self, and has perfected being picked up, with only the occasional mistake. One morning, he misjudged where my arm was, and decided to fly to and cling to the door with his feet and beak. I went to the door and asked just what was he doing, and he looked at me like it was my fault (which it probably was) and calmly stepped down onto my glove when I put my glove up to his talons on the screen door.
Hayabusa is still the diva, no surprise there, and thus she is loving the eating race during our program. She knows exactly what is going on: She will go slow at first if the kid she is racing is going slow, and then speed up at the end! She fell behind in the middle of a race a few days ago, and when she noticed that the kid was almost done, she tried to swallow the whole quail leg at once… and started to choke on it a little. She had to spit it back up twice before she finally got it down. Silly Hayabusa, but cute as always. So far, she has won four races and lost three, so maybe her average will get better over the summer.
About two weeks ago, when it was starting to warm up, Melissa had the great idea to perch Haya and Isham in the weathering yard and put the sprinkler between them. The IAATE (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) enrichment theme of the month was water, and in our dry climate, it would be a great idea, right? Well, not according to Her Royal Majesty Hayabusa. Isham was kinda not into it at first, and then he had a good time, but Haya was very huffy and indignant, and not very happy at all. She kept looking at Melissa (who had her camera in hand waiting for the fun times to commence) as if to say, “What is wrong with you; turn this off this instant!” It was not quite the fun time we expected, but at least we got some funny pictures.
Oh, Suli… the Goofball/diva/chicken/weirdo… is definitely in her hormone-filled, awkward teenage years. She has this tendency, when she first sees someone, to either love them on sight, be absolutely terrified of them, or think they look like a great toy. Nicole, for no reason anyone can identify, is one of those people Suli is terrified of, even though Nicole has worked with her for almost two weeks now. She is warming up little by little, but it is a slow process. I was one of those good-looking toys, the kind of toy that you chase-to-the-door-to-play-tag-with and/or nibble on.
I fed her and picked her up for the first time yesterday afternoon, and she had no problem flying from Melissa’s glove to my glove (I had food, and she is not afraid of me) and after determining that I wasn’t going to rise to her games, she seemed totally fine with me. This morning for relaxing, I held her (with the help of a cane, of course! Four pounds is heavier than it looks) for the whole time, and she only tried to be mischievous/playful once or twice! Progress! And even when I was taking her back to her mew, and removing all the bits and pieces, she was still on good behavior…is anyone as suspicious as I am? Just kidding—I guess we will see how this goes… 🙂
Kateri is being her aloof and diva-like beautiful self. I think Melissa has a knack for choosing divas—all of our girls have that side! Other than knocking Brandon in the face to tell him to take his hat off in the presence of a lady, she is doing well with all of the volunteers! She is so relaxed in front of the crowds almost every day, and it’s incredible to me how well she does. She even is getting used to coming out in the relaxing times. She is so beautiful, and, as her recent photo shoot shows, she knows it, and she definitely knows how to work it!
Well, I think that is quite a lot of writing, and I think I will stop here for now. Leave a comment if you have questions for me to answer next week, and I will do my best! Hope this was worth the time to read it! See, er, write you next week!