Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guest Blogger Tuesday - The Next Generation of Teachers

We continue our Guest Blogger Tuesday with a young lady who has impressed us so much with her enthusiasm and dedication.  Spencer, like our previous blogger, Ben, began her journey to learn about raptors at a very young age.  She demonstrated her desire to teach and learn by inviting friends and family to her Hatchday parties at TRC, and by being a part of our youth service-learning group, Youth RaptorCorp.   Spencer, like Ben, is one person truly making a difference for raptors.

The Raptor Center is sure that with the future of our shared world in the hands of young people like these, it is a very bright one indeed. 

Spencer’s story: An Early Love of Raptors
I first came to TRC when I was 2. My mom and I went bird watching all the time and we would go out in the woods and call for owls at dusk. One day my mom decided to bring me to TRC I remember looking at Leuc, the bald eagle, and thinking how big he was compared to me. I didn't go back for a long time but when I was 9 I wanted to have a “Hatch Day party” there. I ended up having 3.

Next Steps: Youth RaptorCorp
I found that I really liked raptors and signed up for the Youth RaptorCorps. The more I learned about these amazing birds the more I wanted to be around them. The YRC volunteered at the Spring Raptor Release event for years showing people bio-facts (raptor feathers, skulls, talons, wings, pellets, etc) and I learned something new about them each year. Did you know that the owls have a toe, called a hallux, that can swivel around to face front or back?  We also learned about different things that can hurt raptors like DDT and lead poisoning.    After being in YRC for 4 years I was asked to help with the instructing part of the class and I was overjoyed to do it. I am learning just as much 

New Loves
It was in Youth RaptorCorps that I learned about falconry. The definition of falconry is the sport of hunting with a bird of prey. I looked into it and joined the Minnesota falconry association. As it is I am in the process of getting my apprentice license. What I learned at The Raptor Center is coming in very handy with that. I already know what a raptor needs to survive and some of the things that could hurt it. I also want to put this knowledge to use by educating the people in my school and community. I have already written a few articles for my school newspaper and done a speech on raptor related things. I also wrote a letter to my local park Board regarding the health of a pair of owls.

Going Forward
I am so excited to continue with my education with raptors. TRC has provided me the opportunity to learn so much more then I would normally be able to learn. They have saved so many birds that would have died otherwise. I think they are doing a great job and should keep up what they are doing now.

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