CROW Feathers: Claire Fisher

Where are you from?

“I grew up in Carmel, IN and am about to begin my senior year at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. ”

What is your position at CROW?

“I am a Wildlife Care Externship student.”

How long have you worked at CROW?

“I started in the second week of May and my last day will be in mid-August for a total of 13 weeks in my program.”

What is your favorite animal and why?

“My favorite animal we see at CROW must be a baby Mourning Dove. Although some of them are stressed when they first come in, once they learn how to syringe feed, they become super eager for mealtimes. To feed them, we put a finger on either side of the dove’s beak to mimic how the parents feed their babies which encourages them to open their mouths. When we are syringe feeding them, they get so excited that they flap their wings and make happy baby bird noises. It is one of the most adorable things! At the start of my externship, I never expected my favorite patient to be a species that is so common both in this area and at home, but they easily take the top spot for me.”

What is your favorite memory or story from your time at CROW?

“When I think about my most memorable moment at CROW, one day immediately comes to mind. I had the day off from work, and one of the other students and I decided to go to the beach. We had heard that earlier in the day, CROW had responded to a call about a Brown Pelican with a hook in its pouch on the beach we were heading to. Unfortunately, the pelican had flown away before the team could capture it. When we got to the beach, we saw a group of people surrounding a few pelicans. Curious, we made our way over and soon found that one of the birds was the pelican with the hook in its mouth! We tried to catch it but the bird flew away again. However, my friend and I were determined to bring this critter in. We waited at the beach until the pelican returned and carefully sneaked up on it. When the bird leaned down to grab a fish from the water, I threw my beach towel over it. Putting one arm around its body to restrain the wings and one hand around the beak, I had gotten ahold of it!
Quickly, my friend and I got into her car and started driving back to CROW. We got on the phone with the other students who had been working that day and although it was after-hours, there was soon a group of students and our vet staff ready to take care of our patient once we arrived. After a radiograph was taken of the bird, we discovered that it not only had a hook in its pouch, but also one in its stomach. The hook in the pelican’s mouth was removed that evening, and the second hook was taken out during surgery the next day. I’ll always remember how rewarding the experience of capturing and treating a patient was, and that pelican holds a special place in my heart!”

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

“Music has always been a big part of my life! I play French horn in the orchestra at Purdue and enjoy playing piano. In my free time, I love reading, crocheting, watching movies, and spending time with friends. While on Sanibel, I’ve really enjoyed biking and going to the beach. Nothing beats watching the sunset from Blind Pass beach! I’ve also adored exploring Sanibel and the surrounding area with the other students. Although the island is still recovering from the hurricane, my friends and I made the absolute most of our time here. We did all sorts of fun activities such as paddleboarding in Ding Darling, going to a cat café in Fort Myers, and shopping at Miromar Outlets.”

What are some of your goals or aspirations for the future?

“I am starting my senior year of college this fall and will be graduating with a major in Animal Science and minors in Aquatic Science and Wildlife Science. I am currently trying to decide what specifically I will be doing after completing my undergraduate degree, but I know whatever I decide it will have to do with protecting, researching, or caring for the environment and the animals that call it home.”

To learn more about CROW’s student programs, click here.