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Thursday, March 23, 2023

2022 Yr in Overview: Lauren Swinson, Hospital Administration Assistant

It’s time to look again on 2022! Examine our weblog between now and New Yr’s for a wide range of tales and recollections of 2022 from the workers and volunteers of the Wildlife Heart of Virginia.

Prior to now 12 months, I’ve had the chance to actually lean into my new position because the Hospital Administration Assistant. I’ve absolutely embraced my new duties and have actually beloved being part of our rising volunteer program. Working with volunteers has turn into one of the cherished elements of my job. Sharing within the enthusiasm and pleasure of volunteers who’re working to help wildlife and our Wildlife Heart staff is one thing I sincerely treasure. 

At occasions, nonetheless, I’ve missed contributing in a extra direct method to the mission of the Wildlife Heart. Once I was a front-desk coordinator, it was a lot simpler to see how I used to be serving to Virginia wildlife when providing steering to rescuers on the telephone, bringing sufferers by the entrance door, and arranging for his or her launch again into the wild. 

There was one specific alternative this 12 months that gave me an opportunity to see how my new position at WCV positively impacted wildlife this 12 months. As you will have seen on our web site, the WCV staff efficiently raised a primary for our Heart, a Mississippi Kite. This Mississippi Kite was a novel affected person in some ways, one being that this was a hatch-year chook that was lastly prepared for launch across the finish of this 12 months’s migration. This chook wanted to observe different members of its personal species for the migration journey the world over to hotter climes. As a juvenile, this chook wanted the steering of its fellow MIKI’s to seek out the best way. 

Whereas not probably the most glamorous activity, I used to be requested to coordinate through e-mail with members of our rehabilitation staff and the Division of Wildlife Sources for the discharge of the kite. An acceptable launch location would have to be recognized, a spot the place our affected person would be capable to discover different Mississippi Kites for the journey south. 

Because the launch location can be completely different from the kite’s rescue location, the Heart wanted permission from DWR to proceed with the discharge. State biologists, the allow division and our rehab staff put their heads collectively and have been capable of finding probably the most acceptable website for launch. After a couple of emails backwards and forwards over the course of a few days, phrase lastly got here that the Mississippi Kite was cleared for launch at a location the place different Mississippi Kites have been just lately seen. I rapidly handed the information alongside to the rehab staff so the discharge might be set in movement — as quickly as attainable. 

Considering my job right here was achieved, I moved on to a different activity. From my desk in my workplace, I heard Michael Adkins, Entrance-Desk Supervisor, getting ready to take the Mississippi Kite himself for launch. There was no time to waste, as there was no method to say how lengthy the Mississippi Kites that have been noticed within the space would stay there. I heard him say, “Too unhealthy nobody’s free to take video of the discharge for the web site.” My time had come. Papers scattered as I instantly deserted my desk to volunteer to hitch him for the discharge. 


We took a lovely drive out to Covesville over winding nation roads, the chook secured safely in a crate within the again seat. It was an ideal end-of-summer day, inexperienced timber lined the street with occasional open fields and mountain views. After we lastly arrived, the Mississippi Kite was initially reluctant to go away the crate, however after a couple of lengthy minutes, the chook lastly emerged. Wings stretched huge, it circled the deep blue sky above us and landed in a close-by tree, presumably to get its bearings earlier than discovering its cohorts and starting the lengthy journey south. It was extremely gratifying to see this chook emerge into the wild for the primary time because it was a fuzzy little nestling. The video I took was off-center and considerably dizzying, however nonetheless usable for social media, so we may share with our neighborhood the second this chook was returned to the wild. 

As we watched the kite take flight, I used to be struck with gratitude not just for the tiny piece I used to be in a position to play on this chook’s journey again residence but additionally for the fruits of the efforts of so many individuals, together with: . 

  • The unique rescuers who discovered this chook alone on the facet of the street and reached out to folks with the experience to assist. 
  • The front-desk coordinators who suggested the rescuers to convey the chook in for examination by our vet staff. 
  • Vet staff members who assessed the chook, constantly monitored the chook’s well being, and checked feathers, ft and weight on a weekly foundation.
  • The rehab staff members who gave this chook an acceptable enclosure, acceptable vitamin, and monitored the chook for acceptable pure behaviors and ample flight means. 
  • Unbelievable volunteers who made meals for the chook, washed the soiled dishes as soon as the meals have been eaten, and in any other case supported the WCV staff in numerous invaluable methods. 
  • The collaboration between DWR biologists, the allow division, and our rehabilitators, and some temporary emails despatched by yours actually. 

Every small piece is efficacious by itself, however when these items all come collectively, it turns into one thing as magnificent as brown, white and grey feathers, sharply outlined towards a blue September sky. A spectacular wild creature, briefly estranged from nature, again the place it belongs. 

— Lauren Swinson, Hospital Administration Assistant

Try all of our year-in-review posts!

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