We had a last meeting for a few weeks (our teacher is leaving for an assignment in Djibouti, Africa). My job was great practice but not too interesting. We get lots of window kills in common species like robins, juncos, varied thrush, doves, finches, etc. You only need so many skins in a collection, but Matt thinks it will be nice to put some skulls in cases (such as those used for butterflies) so that people can see the differences in bills, skull shape, size, etc. So, my job this week was harvesting skulls from birds too damaged or too common to make skins from. I got lots of practice in surgically determining sex, and learning where I can and cannot cut without having to be so frightfully careful.
In the meantime, my lucky neighbor had a Great Horned Owl. Sadly, these get killed by cars often, because the headlights highlight rodents in the shorter roadside grass at night in our rural environment. Up close and personal, this is an incredibly beautiful and interesting bird, both inside and out (don’t worry, I didn’t photograph the grody bits.)