Roving Reporter | "Bird Brains Learn in Rockport" | Article and 7 Photos by Jeanette Larson

The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC), based in Oregon, usually only holds its prestigious class, Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation, in Houston when it is offered in Texas. But thanks to a lot of begging, and the promise to fill a class, Wings Rescue Center President, Kay Adams, was able to entice them to hold a session February 18-19 at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. The first time offering sold out quickly and attracted people from Georgetown, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley, in addition to several staff members from the ARK in Port Aransas. Also present were volunteers with Wings Rescue Center who will provide rehabilitation services once the local facility opens later this spring.

Tailored for the birds of the coastal bend, the two-day course provided an introduction for beginning or novice wildlife rehabilitators to learn about basic anatomy and physiology of birds, as well as how to safely and humanely handle the animals. During a half-day hands-on part of the class, students learned to administer oral medications, draw fluids, give injections, bandage them, and more. The course is flipped so that a lot of reading was done in advance. It concluded with a two-hour exam that must be passed for certification that is eligible for credit for veterinarians and vet techs. Twenty-seven students learned from Rebecca McKeever (Director of Lone Star Wildlife Rescue in Bellville), Dr. Tim Tristan, and Amanda Terry (both from Texas Sealife Center) and will be using their knowledge to help our birds.

Rebecca McKeever

Dr. Tim handles a pelican

Amanda Terry explains medications

Jeanette Larson is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.

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