HomeWildlife2021 12 months In Assessment: Maggie McCartney, Wildlife Care Academy Coordinator

2021 12 months In Assessment: Maggie McCartney, Wildlife Care Academy Coordinator

It’s time to look again on 2021! Test our weblog between Christmas and New 12 months’s for quite a lot of tales and reminiscences of 2021 from the workers and volunteers of the Wildlife Middle of Virginia.

In January 2021 the Wildlife Care Academy, as soon as a stand-alone division after which a part of the Vet Division, settled into the Outreach and Training division.  This reorganization has given me new alternatives.  As a member of the outreach staff over the previous 12 months, I’ve participated in public packages, written posts and supplies for the web site and Caring for Critters program, contributed to supplemental assets for Untamed compendium, and extra. 

Probably the most thrilling new component for me has been working to construct relationships with our staff of ambassador animals.  Particularly, Rosalie and Ruby have been necessary lecturers for me, serving to me be taught raptor conduct and coaching for the primary time.  My earlier animal coaching expertise was very reptile-oriented, and birds are very totally different from reptiles behaviorally.

One of the fascinating issues about this expertise has been attending to know every chicken as a person.  Rosalie and Ruby, each feminine Crimson-tailed Hawks, couldn’t be extra totally different of their conduct and interactions with their trainers.  In my first days working with every of them, Rosalie regarded immediately at me, vocalized loudly, fluffed herself as much as seem bigger, and mantled over her meals.   Ruby, in distinction, averted being near me, glanced round her enclosure, and barely checked out me, ready till I left to go to her coaching platform for meals.  One may say Rosalie is daring and assured, whereas Ruby is a little more shy and hesitant, however we do our greatest to keep away from utilizing these human-oriented labels, in favor of extra correct and detailed descriptions of conduct. 

Over the weeks and months that I’ve labored with the ambassadors, I’ve been in a position to construct relationships of belief with a number of birds, together with Ruby and Rosalie.  I’ve watched every of them develop extra used to my presence and labored with every of them to step up onto my glove, go away their enclosures, take part in packages, settle for routine well being checks, and stand on a scale.  Via assembly every of those objectives collectively, the birds and I constructed our mutual belief banks, and their behaviors and responses to me advanced.  Nevertheless, the variations between Ruby and Rosalie stay stark. Rosalie will get stressed if she sees me within the ambassador space and I don’t feed her first, hopping from perch to perch and aiming her loud and prolonged screams in my route.  Upon coming into her enclosure, she readily meets me at our coaching station and reveals little hesitance as we work by her educated behaviors.  When she’s not all in favour of collaborating, she strikes to a particular perch which is her method to talk to her people that she’s performed with the session. 

 In distinction, Ruby watches me quietly from her perch as I feed different birds, solely turning towards the again of her enclosure when I’m about to enter.  Ruby is educated to fly to the dealing with glove moderately than step up from an in depth perch, so retrieving her is a bit totally different in that method, however she regularly hesitates, seeking to different perches to strategy from simply the best angle or deciding to not enter into the coaching session in any respect.  Working with Rosalie, Ruby, and a number of other different ambassador raptors have given me a brand new understanding of animal conduct and individuality.  These two Crimson-tailed Hawks are good examples – every of our ambassador colleagues has its personal traits, preferences, behaviors, quirks, particular expertise, and challenges.  There isn’t a phrase like “character” to explain animals, but when there have been, they actually have it!

As I proceed to work with these birds and the remainder of the ambassador staff, I look ahead to additional constructing {our relationships} of mutual belief, and studying extra from all they’ve to show me.

— Maggie McCartney, Wildlife Care Academy Coordinator & Entrance-desk Supervisor

Try all of our year-in-review posts!

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