CROW Feathers: Sophie Tinley

Where are you from?

“I am from Atlanta, Georgia and go to school in central New York. “

What is your position at CROW?

“I am a Wildlife Care Externship student.”

How long have you worked at CROW?

“I just finished my 10 week externship experience.”

What is your favorite animal and why?

“My favorite CROW patient this summer was an Eastern Screech Owl that we had for a few weeks. They presented pretty down and quiet and any type of improvement seen was celebrated. I thought it was so funny that the students would excitedly report during patient case rounds when he was attempting to bite or scratch us because it meant he was getting more alert and improving.
I also love the baby Virginia Opossums. When cleaning their outdoor enclosures in the morning I enjoy watching them interact with each other because it’s so funny. They steal food out of each other’s mouths and then pass out on their backs after gorging on their diet.”

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

“On one of my off days, another extern and I were at the beach when we got a text that CROW had received a call about a Brown Pelican with a hook in its mouth. We happened to be on that beach and spent about an hour trying to catch this pelican (Claire even got in the water to move it to shore!) before she finally got it. When we finally captured the bird we hurried to my car and drove straight to CROW. It was the only time I got to be involved in bringing a patient into the clinic and it’s cool that I now get to drive my car around knowing that it once had a pelican sitting in the backseat.
I’ve also enjoyed the amount of practice opportunities we get with the wildlife rehabbers. They’ve taught me how to read patient blood samples from the centrifuge, necropsy skills, and this week I successfully placed two intravenous catheters in a row. The staff are incredibly patient when they’re teaching and they celebrate with you when you finally figure out a skill.”

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

“When I have off days on Sanibel, I’m probably reading somewhere on the beach. At school, I’m still often reading (though not on the beach unfortunately) but I also host a radio show with some of my friends on our university’s radio station. Each week we pick a theme (some of our favorites have been “songs we’d listen to if we were truck drivers,” “songs you’d hear at a middle school dance,” and “songs that would wake us up from a coma”) and talk about why we made those selections. Hosting a radio show is a completely random interest of mine because it isn’t something I want to pursue professionally, but I really enjoy getting to do it while at school.”

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

“Before coming to CROW, I knew I wanted to pursue some type of wildlife conservation career, but I wasn’t sure exactly what direction that would follow. Being a wildlife rehabber never crossed my mind, but after having so much fun this summer and hardly feeling like I was at work due to how much I enjoyed what I was doing, I’m realizing that this might be something I pursue. Being able to observe so many different species up close and watch them defy the odds of an extremely poor prognosis and make it to release is so rewarding and I would love to be able to play a part in that process again in the future.”

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