Wednesday, November 25, 2009

first volunteer days

Saturday I had my training day at Wildlife Rescue. We (there were 5 of us) were given a little more detailed tour of the buildings and what's what. Then we were shown some of the many duties that we get to perform while there.

We learned how to prepare meals for differnt birds following the "cookbook" I'd call it. There's no actual cooking, but just a detailed list of specific diets for each bird. We were each assigned a bird to prepare a meal for. I got a gull. Guess what? The gull does not get a seed mix like the other little birds. The gull gets chopped salmon & herring. Fortunately,  I didn't have to chop the fish...this time. That will be a learning experience since I've never cut up a fish before. An unlikely experience for a vegan, but it's all for the benefit of the birds.

Tuesday I started my first shift, working with a mentor. It was pretty exciting since it's all a big learning experience for me.

The walk from the main road into the park and to the sanctuary was nice. It's a beautiful park in the middle of Burnaby. The highway is on one side so there is some noise, but the deeper into the park you go, the less of that you hear. As I walked along the road I saw a great blue heron and (I'm pretty sure) a red-tailed hawk. I thought that was a good sign.

The first hour I spent stuffing envelopes since my mentor was out doing some releases. Then, when she returned we got to work cleaning out the pigeon aviary and getting them fresh food, grit & water. My first lesson was always wear rubber boots!  My old running shoes were great for comfort, but were pretty damp by the end of my shift.

My second lesson was bring disposable gloves for the aviaries since there's a lot of poop on everything! Gloves will also keep my hands dry while I hose everything down. Yup, it is glamourous work.

We also cleaned 2 other cages (a crow & a thrush), and prepared fresh meals & water for them as well.

Then it was more cleaning & tidying. As my shift is at the end of the day, we are expected to do all of the dishes, sweep up, and do the mopping for the next day's shifts. It is fairly busy even though this is considered a quiet time of year.

Just before we left, a woman was dropping off a heron with a broken leg (not the one I saw earlier that day). When we were leaving the attending vet was trying to work on a splint of some kind. Poor heron.

So far so good. I'm learning and loving it. 

1 comment:

mister anchovy said...

It's good to see that the gulls will still eat fish. Here in Toronto, I think their basic food has become the fast food parking lot french fry. I suspect some of them forget they ever ate fish at all.