record-breaking attendance during biodiversity museum day 2018
The 7th annual Biodiversity Museum Day took place on February 17, 2018. This is a free, educational event for the community where visitors get to meet and talk with UC Davis scientists and see amazing objects and organisms from the world around us. This was our 3rd year participating, and we had our biggest turnout yet--over 1,100 attendees!
FEATURED RESIDENT: ELIZA, WHITE-TAILED KITE
Eliza was found as a chick in the Davis area on July 7, 2016. Jays had been seen attacking the kites' nest and throwing the baby out. The chick was brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where X-rays and palpitation showed she had a broken right coracoid (one of the bones in the avian shoulder) and a broken right clavicle (which, in birds, is part of the "whishbone" or furcula). Neither of these injuries can be treated except by confinement in a small cage to restrict movement while they heal.
After her bones were once more strong and whole, Eliza showed a severe wing droop on the left and was deemed non-releasable. Kites hover to hunt, and an imperfectly healed wing bone is often not strong enough to sustain this activity.
VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: BRENTON PIERCE
Longtime volunteer Brenton Pierce with Sullivan, the golden eagle he trained to the glove
Brenton Pierce started volunteering at the California Raptor Center 10 years ago. It all started because he was generally interested in birds, but had no idea where to begin. After attending an orientation at the CRC, he put in a ballot for a volunteer slot and was eventually chosen by Operations Manager Bret Stedman.
"I was fortunate enough to be trained by Bret Stedman. I think that gave me a lot of confidence around the raptors."
In 2012, when a golden eagle came in with an injured wing and was deemed non-releasable, Brenton asked Bret if he could learn how to train the eagle to work with a handler at CRC education events. The process can take time, particularly with a bird as powerful as a golden eagle, but with Brenton's dedication and Bret's guidance the eagle progressed well, and after a month or so was successfully introduced to an audience of volunteers. Not long afterward, he made his public debut before an enthralled young lad, his parents, and young friends, who were enjoying his birthday celebration at the CRC. The eagle was eventually given the name "Sullivan" by Brenton himself.
Brenton enjoys volunteering at the CRC for the work itself and the wonderful team of volunteers he gets to work with on a regular basis. As a volunteer-driven organization, it is a true love for nature that keeps people coming back, contributing time and energy on a regular basis. Brenton feels it is a true blessing to be a part of it all.
Spring Open House: Saturday, May 5th