Ranking the birds I work with:
Red Tail Hawk: 8/10.
- Anxious. Always making small noises when I’m in the aviary and hopping around.
- Will fly to the perch when I enter with food (slightly intimidating)
- Minds her own business when I come in to clean.
- Missing an eye
Turkey Vulture: 9/10
- I love her, but she’s the most unpredictable of the bunch.
- Will clack her beak at me, lunge at me, etc.
- Named Helsing
- Will walk to her perch so I can hand her food to her directly.
- Broken wing that healed poorly.
Great Horned Owl: 5/10
- Very beautiful.
- But also Very Aggressive. She always has her tufts up.
- Will hiss, clack beak, and fly around while I clean. :/ I just ignore her and act as if she’s not there. Best way to do the job.
- Eye injury
Harris Hawk: 7/10
- Former falconry bird.
- I dropped his food the other day and he made an upset noise. :( I didn’t mean to drop your mouse in the dirt, baby. :(
- Just kinda sits there for the most part. Very beautiful plumage.
Barred Owl: 11/10
- a very sweet lady. she will blink slowly and calmly observe me as I clean.
- very kind eyes
- one amputated wing
- I love her
Broadwing Hawk: 7/10
- She peeps like a baby chick. Very cute
- One partially amputated wing. sometimes she spreads her wings and acts like she wants to fly. poor baby
- Her cage is very difficult to clean :/
- Very alert, always watching what I’m doing. (Not aggressively, most likely caution or curiosity.)
Burrowing Owls: 3/10
- Born in the zoo. Two brothers.
- Will ABSOLUTELY commit crimes. Have escaped their cages several times.
- Literally ATE their third clutchmate.
- Always hopping around.
- Wide eyes. Very dopey looking. The epitome of “head empty. no thoughts”
- Eye injury. She is actually on medication right now for an infection. The eye will be removed soon.
- Very patient when receiving meds. Only nips when I need to use compresses on her eye. Appreciates head scratches in return for good behavior.
- Usually sleeps through me cleaning the aviary.
Y’all… my son is fuckin’ adorable sometimes. He had a poster project this week about what he wants to be when he grows up. This year, he’s been saying zookeeper. The posters get turned in today and we were told they should dress up if they can. Unfortunately, I did not have time or the money to buy him khakis ala Steve Irwin or get fancy and like stitch a fake zoo name into a shirt, but I think he looks perfect. A green polo, brown pants, he’s got hiking boots on as well because “zookeepers don’t wear light-up sneakers”. And I whipped up a little staff badge. It’s first grade and he’s not getting graded on his dress up so I’m not gonna waste a ton of my time making an outfit and everything. He’s wicked happy with how he looks and that’s all that matters to me.
Honestly, his career choices have been pretty awesome. When asked in kindergarten last year, he’d said nurse. We’d gotten specific and narrowed it down to NICU nurse. This year, it’s zookeeper. Two great options, in my opinion. Saving babies or helping people learn about wildlife (I’m sure for some, zoos are bad, but I believe if they are done right, they are great. I.E. Australia Zoo.) I’d be proud either way but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope for zookeeper more.
We’ll see what next year’s answer will be.
Lots of love and thanks to all the zookeeper friends out there!! They do such awesome work and have done so well working through this pandemic keeping animals well taken care of!!
And since it’s world animal day, what’s your favourite animal? What makes it your favoruite? could be as simple as that you think they’re neat or as complicated as very specific behaviors.
Have a lovely day!!!
Say hello to Underbite. The grumpiest of all baboons
Every blue fish is Dory. Every. Single. One.
my sister once went to a petting zoo and they asked like six or eight volunteers to line up with their arms stretched out in front then the zookeepers stood behind the volunteers and tossed a boa snake over their heads so it landed laying across all their arms
my sister had a great time