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West Virginia Wildlife
Kids And Birds
Patrick McMurtry Birds Of Prey Go To School

January 8, 2014
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


One of the coolest things about living in West Virginia is the ability to look and listen to the skies. Chances are you won't have to do it very long before you either see a beautiful red tail hawk or maybe hear the distinctive hoot of an owl. Wendy Perrone has spent many a year helping make sure these amazing animals survive, and thrive, in our mountains and valleys. A big part of her job is educating people of all ages about raptors, including how they can be threatened.

"We've found in 23 years of doing this that you can be a stretcher bearer for only so long. If you can prevent the injuries in the first place, that's the way to go because you do a lot better for the birds that way." says Perrone.

These birds are usually hurt in one of two ways, they're hit by cars or fly into something, like a window. They fly so fast, and can be so focused on their prey, that they just don't see a car or building pop up in front of them. That kind of information is important to pass along, so Wendy goes to the information pipeline-kids!

"We've discovered that working with kids is great because they tell their friends who tell their friends who tell their friends and the next thing you know, the word has spread and you can solve the problem, window strikes and things like that." says Perrone

The Three Rivers Avian Center does much more than just talk to kids, though. They're busy year round getting the word out about the birds they love.

"We have an outreach program that has about 60-80 of these programs a year, from pre-school kids up to senior citizens, colleges, universities, libraries, park systems. Anything we can do to help get the word out. We do a lot of displays where we bring the birds out and people can ask questions specifically about the birds." says Perrone.

Knowledge is power and by working so hard to get the word out, Wendy and her team will keep helping birds for years to come.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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