From Xplor for Kids
October 2012 Issue

Wild Jobs: Raptor Nurse Amber VanStrien

Publish Date

Oct 01, 2012

Raptor nurse Amber VanStrien helps sore birds soar again.

Q: What does a raptor nurse do?

A: I care for injured birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles and owls.

Q: How do birds end up in your care?

A: Folks call the Raptor Rehabilitation Center at Mizzou to report injured birds, and we go pick them up. Most have broken wings. Some are starving. Others have injuries to their eyes or talons.

Q: How do you patch them up?

A: Birds can’t talk, so we check the bird over to see what’s wrong. If it has a broken wing, doctors do surgery. If it hasn’t been eating, we feed it rats or mice. We keep a chart of the bird’s vital signs, treatments and feedings—just like a human patient.

Q: What’s the owl’s name?

A: Eskimo Razoo—Mo for short. He was a fluffy gray baby when he came in. It looked like he was wearing a puffy coat like an Eskimo.

Q: How did you get those scars on your forearm?

A: We went to rescue an injured hawk in a tree. My teammate climbed up, and the hawk came down. I grabbed its talons, but apparently my gloves weren’t long enough. The hawk clamped down on my forearm and wouldn’t let go.

Q: Ouch! Did you shake it off?

A: Shaking would have been bad—for me and the hawk. Instead, I waved my other hand, and the hawk let go to attack it. This time, though, all it got was glove. We named that bird “Tree Hugger.”

Also in this issue

You Discover

There’s lots to discover in October and November. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Predator vs. Prey: Tarantula Hawk vs. Texas Brown Tarantual

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.

How To: Field Dress a Deer

You’ve shot your first deer, snapped a photo and attached your notched permit to the deer’s leg. Now what? To keep the meat fresh, field dress the deer.

Nature's Zombies

This Halloween, you might see make-believe zombies lumbering around seeking tricksand- treats. These costumed creatures won’t eat your flesh or hijack your brain—that only happens in scary, made-up movies. For some animals, though, zombies are all too real.

Super Squirrels

Take a field mouse, stretch it to chipmunk size, give it a squirrel’s bushy tail, night-vision goggles and a daredevil’s wingsuit, and you’d have a super squirrel—aka the southern flying squirrel.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White

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