Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our volunteers come from all over!

This week's Volunteer blog is guest-written by Karen Stubenvoll, board chair. Karen started as a volunteer in 2004, overcoming her shyness by greeting visitors and selling T-shirts at the overlook, then becoming a raptor banding volunteer in 2009. Karen joined the board of directors in December 2010.

Volunteer Profile: Wu (Jian-long Wu) is a native of Taiwan. He and his wife (Ling-Min Wang) will be in the USA for 2 years, living in Minneapolis while Ling-Min completes her veterinary internship at The Raptor Center. Wu has worked as an avian technician in Taiwan.
Wu and Ling-Min are both members of the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan, which is a non-governmental organization with goals to protect and conserve raptors and their living environment in Taiwan by means of research and education.

I met Wu at Hawk Weekend 2013, when he enthusiastically walked up to our table at the overlook and emphatically told me that he wanted to be a Hawk Ridge volunteer. I could tell by his appearance (prominent binoculars & large camera) that Wu is a birder. Wu currently has 996 species of birds on his life list! Wu & Ling-Min recently attended the international Raptor Research Foundation meeting in Texas, where they toured with raptor expert Bill Clark. Wu added 54 new species to his list, and saw 20 species of raptors -- including Gray Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, and Aplomado Falcon.

Even though it is not easy for Wu to get up to Duluth to volunteer at Hawk Ridge as often as he would like, it has been a memorable experience. He likes every staff and volunteer he has met there, and he reports that the landscape is just awesome!

Wu would like to encourage birding fans to consider a visit to Taiwan, where hundreds of thousands of raptors migrate annually (the majority of which are the Chinese Goshawk and the Gray-faced Buzzard). These 2 short video clips showcase some of the natural beauty of Taiwan, and feature two magnificent Taiwanese raptors:

The Black Eagle

Oriental Honey Buzzards of 99 Peaks

Jian-long WU

Blog submitted by Karen Stubenvoll

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