Why I Volunteer at “Eyes In The Sky”


Jeff Hanson

A post on last year’s SB Birding listserv caught my eye: “Eyes In The Sky’s” Director, Gabriele Drozdowski was asking for volunteer birders to open up the shutters of the newly-built aviary in the morning, to let the birds greet the day – and to also interpret the birds to Museum visitors in the mornings. The aviary is located in the museum’s “Back Yard”, an oak woodland behind McVeigh House, where a variety of wild birds also live.

Hmmmm, a chance to hang out with 7 raptors, and talk about them with the public, mostly young parents with children. I gave it a try and immediately liked it. I have learned much about the birds, and have become comfortable in speaking to others, because the birds are inspiring to be around. Even though they have been injured, each one has their special qualities that make them a joy to be with. When I am alone with them, I spend quality time at a close distance, taking in subtle plumage details I could never see in the wild. The commitment can be as little as 1-1/2 hours a week, and we could use some more help in the mornings.