Volunteering at the Center and Day to Day Work
Introduction into daily work at the center- what it is, what to expect, what to wear-
Volunteering at ORC is hard work but it is very rewarding. Know that all the time and work you put in goes directly toward helping birds of prey return to the wild. We know a lot of it is not glamorous but every task is important. Volunteering at the center consists of Animal Care shifts during the week as well and on the weekends. Weekends are also times to get special projects done because we usually have more help on those days. AM shifts are 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM and dependent on the number of patients PM shifts will be added from 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Please arrive on time for your shift.
*When you come to the center to volunteer you should wear close toed shoes, work clothes, a water bottle and a snack or lunch. Masks, gloves and other safety wear will be provided to you.
Daily tasks at the center:
-Cleaning all cages, mews, and aviaries
-Checking the rat room
-Assisting supervisors with medicating and caring for patients in the infirmary
-Feeding all birds and animals- education ambassadors and patients
-Cleaning the interior of the center- sweeping, wiping down surfaces, cleaning out refrigerators, doing dishes, emptying trash, organizing sheets and towel
-Landscape upkeep- watering plants, and weeding
*Supervisors won't always be there to give you your next task, they might be busy taking phone calls or doing medical exams. When this happens please refer to the daily task board and keep moving with tasks you have been trained to do.
Daily Chores Inside
Rack cleaning 101: A rack is one of the infirmary cages where patients are housed. There are roughly three different sizes of racks depending on size and specie of the bird.
Rack Cleaning 101:
-Remove dirty perches and dirty softie (usually a piece of fleece, t-shirt or towel). Perches go in the dirty perch bin and laundry goes into laundry basket.
-Take out all dirty newspaper and left over food. If there are dirty dishes in the rack take them to the sink, deposit any left over food into the garbage can. When dishes from all the racks are collected, clean all the dishes.
-Spray the inside of the rack with cleaner (usually Simple Green), you should only need 4-5 sprays, birds are extremely sensitive to fumes so be careful with how much cleaner you use. For racks that have housed birds with a verified parasite or contagious condition we will use bleach but use it VERY sparingly.
-Wipe down the inside of the rack removing all feces, there shouldn't be anything left. You also will need to scrub down the rack door.
-Replace newspaper with several layers so the newspaper goes up 6 inches or so up the side of each wall. Add new perch and softie.
-Replace dirty newspaper on the floor with newspaper.
-Replace soiled paper with dry newspaper and weigh down with rocks (if in one of the outside cages)
-Remove dirty dishes. When you remove dirty dishes, please dispose of any left over food in the trash and clean all dishes. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
-Clean litter box- you can dispose of waste in outside trash can. More litter is located next to Nugget's cage.
-Check water bowl or bottle and replace kibble.
-Please read laundry instructions on the washer. It's important to separate fleece softies from t-shirts and towels. Shake out all pieces of laundry before putting them in the machine. Use the instructed amount of detergent and bleach. Using too much detergent will damage the washing machine.
Daily Chores outside: cleaning aviaries, flights and mews, rat room, landscape upkeep
-Supervisors will train you to clean outside aviaries which consists of raking up feces, picking up food remnants, checking perches and hackboards and changing waters. *During ant and yellow jacket season it is especially important to make sure all food remnants are removed from hackboards and perches. Left over food will cause ants and bees to swarm and the birds will not eat. ALWAYS RESPECT THE DOUBLE DOOR SYSTEM! Make sure the anterior door is shut before you open the interior one to clean.
-Checking the rat room: At the beginning of every day the rat room needs to be checked. Water bottles and buckets need to be changed or filled, kibble needs to be replenished. Air in the rat room also needs to be turned on. To set air: press POWER and then TIMER- keep pressing timer until the screen reads 7 hours.
-Landscape upkeep: watering plants and weeding is constant task at ORC. When watering please recoil hoses and turn water OFF. When weeding, be sure to wear the thick garden gloves provided- we have a lot of stinging nettle all over the property that will irritate the skin (even through latex and sometimes clothing).
*Feather policy: Possession of native and/or migratory birds or their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, physical artifacts like wings or talons) without a permit is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16U.S.C 703-712. Because we are permitted we have education biofacts like wings, talons, and stuffed birds at the center. If you find a feather you must put it into the feather collection bag. Theft of feathers or other artifacts jeopardizes the state and federal permits that allow ORC to operate. Theft of feathers will immediately lead to termination of volunteer status.
Thank you Volunteers!