Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr. Ponder and Dr. Willette in Taipei

Last spring, The Raptor Center hosted its first Avian Orthopedic and Basic Raptor Rehabilitation workshops. Designed for veterinary and rehabilitation professionals, they drew participants from around the world. Two veterinarians from Taiwan were so impressed with the knowledge and skills of our staff that they invited Dr. Julia Ponder, Executive Director, and Dr. Michelle Willette, staff veterinarian, to present in Taiwan this week. The Endemic Species Research Institute is hosting an Avian Clinical Technique Workshop. Over several days, Drs. Ponder and Willette will introduce and demonstrate many of the techniques The Raptor Center has perfected related to avian clinic care, traveling the last day to the Taipei Zoo for final presentations.

Dr. Ponder has sent an update! "Yesterday, Dr. Willette was supposed to start the day with a lecture on raptor handling and physical exam. Last minute, it was changed to a demonstration/practical with birds from the local wildlife center. We decided I would grab the bird and be the handler while Dr. Willette explained the process." Dr. Ponder's familiarity with safe procedures in handing raptors served her well - the species was a crested serpent eagle, one she had not encountered before. The bird is quite small for an eagle - perhaps 30-50% bigger than a large female red-tailed hawk.

The photos Dr. Ponder sent are: Photo 1:class photo in front of the Endemic Species Research Institute; Photo 2: two students working with a crested serpent eagle, and Photo 3: Dr. Ponder with the crested serpent eagle.


  1. Congratulations and blessings to the Raptor Center and Drs. Ponder and Willete. This is a fascinating story. As a bird lover I feel so proud and happy that we have here in Minnesota such a World Class organization to teach about and care for our avian friends. THANK YOU to all who work for the Center and to all of you who support its mission!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, and taking the time to post. It is truly not possible to do the work we do without support from folks like you. Your interest and passion as a bird watcher contributes to the mission we all have to share that which inspires us.