Even though we have a tendency to think of ourselves as separate from nature, we are part of it and it is part of us. The infrastructure we build to sustain our lives is constructed in spaces that were previously considered “natural.” Because our lived environments interrupt the distribution of natural spaces, we often come face to face with other animal species in our day to day lives. Squirrels, birds, rodents, dogs and other domesticated animals come to mind, but many more species live all around us.
Mass Audubon is an organization that helps protect more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts. They not only maintain spaces for birds and other wildlife to live, but enable us, the public, to visit these spaces and enjoy them in all their natural glory. One such place is Drumlin Farm, which, while not a “natural” place, provides sanctuary to animals that have been injured in the wild or through accidents within urban spaces. Apart from being a working farm and animal sanctuary, Drumlin Farm also has naturalized spaces, like wetlands, fields and forests, that provide good habitat to a lot of different species.
There, you can find Sally Farrow. Sally is a teacher naturalist at Drumlin Farms, where she works to educate youth about native birds and the ways in which these are connected to their environment. A nature and outdoors lover with a BA, MS and PhD in zoology, Sally has worked with Mass Audubon for 37 years. In her programs, she works primarily with birds that have been injured and would have a hard time surviving in the wild. She and a team rehabilitate the birds and care for them, providing them appropriate nutrition, activity and stimulus. Occasionally, they take the birds on “tour” to different schools, to teach students about the wild creatures and how to protect them.
Sally also works as a mentor in the Lowell Lowell EYTF (Environmental Youth Task Force, which is a branch of the TREES environmental group) group. There, she has created and implemented an educational project to promote climate change awareness & promote Earth Optimism, which you can learn more about on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eytf2020/
Watch Sally’s bird talk below.