I frequently am asked how I learned about animals. My best and favorite way is to observe them. A relaxing break in my day is to sit and watch their movements, antics, and habits. Each one is an individual, just like us. Their personalities are distinctive. After getting to know them, I sum them up in a word or two. Shredder, the great-horned owl I had as an educational bird, had permanent pms. She was always in a ornery mood. I was truly fortunate to know Lucky, my wonderful little Saw-whet owl. His small size made him very wary, and his protection was to be statue-like, unmoving when he detected danger. Conversely, Vinny, a juvenile turkey vulture I released a few weeks ago, had the dominating characteristics of a bully.
Not only do I find each animal’s personality fascinating, but I have discovered my past observations to be helpful when assessing the health of an animal I just received. Having studied in some fashion the over 24,000 animals I have handled, I can offer pretty accurate prognosis on those I take in. That helps me help them. What’s the first action I take? To make them feel safe, let them rest, and observe them.
Thanks for caring about the critters,