For The Birds

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Wednesday March 26

Chris (Mancuso), Birgit, Don and I were helping Andrea move her sectional couch again the other day. You remember the sectional…right? (Thursday February 27 Post)

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Well, it’s on the move again. This time to Andreas new place in lower Gibsons. I don’t have any pictures, Wendy wasn’t with us and my hands were full…I was carrying beer for Chris and Don while they carried the couch (it’s normally a two man job…but I managed)

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Andrea has more that has to be moved…probably this Saturday (right Andrea?). Plus, some stuff just arrived by Greyhound and there’s even more coming, by truck from Ontario, later (which is good news because her new place isn’t furnished)

Teresa, a friend of ours from our days at Mountsberg Conservation Area, is also in the process of moving…and purging…her stuff. Excellent idea Teresa. Travel light and carry as little baggage as you find acceptable

Another friend (Amy) left her job at the Mountsberg Conservation Area’s Raptor Centre yesterday and is also on the move. I don’t remember where exactly she’s going (some Mickey Mouse operation)

Amy’s been at the ‘berg for eight years, so it’s tough to leave all of her friends

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(Amy is on the left…without the feathers)

Wendy and I met Amy back in 2009 when we started working at Mountsberg. We were naturally attracted to the Raptor Centre…and why not, they have Bald Eagles, Vultures and several varieties of Owls, Hawks and Falcons

We were even more ‘enraptored’ by the Raptor Centre Staff…those people who actually work with and care for the birds. The passion they have for those animals is remarkable and we have rarely seen it equalled

They clean (seemingly all day) crud so foul as to be beyond the ability of the brain to imagine (or the stomach to contain). They spend hours preparing raw food (what do Raptors eat?) and applying first aid for every possible minor injury a bird might incur (including weird ‘blood feather‘ problems)

They maintain each bird’s diet, weight and overall health and apply massive doses of stimulation, training (with the human-imprinted birds capable of flight), personal interaction and Love

If the Staff are traveling to an ‘off-site’ commitment, there are hours of pre and post-trip preparations to ensure the continued safety and comfort of the animal. When they aren’t on the road (or doing their many chores) they are teaching to classes of visiting students, hosting photo shoots, caring for the elusive Shrikes (‘i vont to be alone’), greeting visitors for personal ‘Raptor Encounters‘ or showing and speaking about live birds at the Birds of Prey shows (twice daily on weekends and holidays at 12pm and 2pm)

They also teach every possible outdoor education program on subjects ranging from Bats and Bison to Bullfrogs and Butterflies

They grieve like family when a bird passes and become like a child at Christmas when a new friend arrives

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What compensation do such people receive for their endless efforts, exceptional knowledge and outstanding people skills?

It isn’t a monetary reward…too little pay and no benefits (snap out of it CH)

It isn’t the easy pace…overworked, understaffed, and underappreciated

It isn’t the love and respect they receive from the birds (who, like Vulcans are incapable of emotional attachment)

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So why DO they do it?

(because they’re crazy?)

No

They do it, because they Love It

They do it for the birds

Smoothe Sailing Amy. Travel light and Soar with the Eagles

(i could have sworn she was driving)

Here is a shout out to all of the Raptor Centre Staff whom Der Wendle and I have had the privilege of working alongside; Amy, Larissa, Sandra, Brad, Jenn, Jenn and Sir David (without whom the puppets would have nowhere to fly). We love and honour you all

Goodnight all

Moose and Wendle

P.S.

We have no desire to leave the impression that only the Raptor Centre bird wranglers are uber passionate, knowledgeable and exceptional in their devotion to nature, the animals or the public. Wendy and I are huge supporters and boosters of the entire working staff at both Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas. They are the best and we love them all

P.S.S.

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