Skip to content

mostly messy work today

December 6, 2009

On Sundays, there usually are several people on staff at the wildlife center, and two AWP community service workers serving their time. Today, I called to see if there was any work (there almost always is) and to let my supervisor know I’d be in a little later than usual. My hours are flexible, so this is not a problem.

She told me there were no other workers there at all today. That surprised me. I had plenty of animal care to do, so didn’t bother with data entry and didn’t mind, even though I got filthy.

The birds I took care of (cleaning out the enclosures and feeding the birds after) in the main hawk cage – 3 hawks – a red shoulder and 2 swainson’s, in a near cage, one red tail needing to be kept separate because it has avian pox (this one has been kinda mean in the past, but last few weeks has not come after me), one marshawk in its own room, 2 great horned owls in their room – they are both residents – one of them was hissing at me today.. very unusual, it almost never is that bothered by my presence – in the pond area, 2 mallards, one domestic duck, one goose, and another duck that is brown but not a mallard – I forgot what kind it is, and then a large night blue heron in its room and a small green heron in its room. I feel bad for the birds being kept by themselves. I wonder if they get lonely. Sometimes I wish I were a little less sensitive.. it is sometimes tough to work at the wildlife center, being a sensitive person and caring a lot about the animals.

I also went into the cages of our barn owl, who hisses for a variety of reasons, including just to say hello, our little non-releasable screech owl, which was asleep in her owl box, and our non-releasable kestrel, who is never happy when I enter his cage.

I fed the raptors dead mice, the ducks and goose got mash and greens, and the herons got anchovies served in water with a half of vitamin B tablet. I also gave a mouse to our tame crow, and 3 mice to our tame raven.

I fed and refilled the water bottles for our domestic rats and mice that are kept for live prey testing (although I’m not sure the people in charge bother to do that anymore – live prey testing is a way of making sure the hawks and owls can hunt live mice – that way we know they are ready to be released). We also keep some mice for the snakes. We have 2 non-releasable fairly tame snakes, and one that was brought in that is hopefully recovering. Maybe that one will get enough to be released.

Lastly, I noticed the skunk was hungry. He is still in  a room in the main building, living in a play pen, because there is still work being done on the grounds near the newer building where he normally lives, and he and the other animals residing there are put elsewhere. I gave him some food and water. Maybe my supervisor forgot to do that. We have a large dry erase board with a grid listing the animals, where they are, what they are to be fed, and how much food. There is a spot for initials of staff so we know which animals have been fed and which have not. The spot next to the skunk’s name had initials, but I didn’t see any evidence of his being fed. So, to make sure, I took care of him.I had to be careful not to get close to the skunk, though, since I am not vaccinated.

After that, I swept up and did dishes and went home. It’s an interesting place in the dark – almost no light at all, but the sky was cloudy and the lights from a nearby town were reflected in the clouds and so it was not as dark out there as it has been in the past.

I got really dirty doing all that cleaning and feeding, but had fun.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: