Shelby started working at Houston Audubon this May after being a dedicated volunteer at the Raptor and Education Center. Shelby has a degree in Conservation Biology from LSU and just finished a seasonal naturalist position at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. She worked previously as an Environmental Specialist both in Texas and Puerto Rico. Before being hired, she volunteered with Houston Audubon for over a year and loves birds and birding!
Shelby’s summer was busy running camps, delivering education programs, and planning for fall events. For those that haven’t met Shelby yet, she answered some questions to get to know her better.
1. What is your favorite thing about your career?
So many things! My coworkers aren’t just humans, they’re also raptors, reptiles, and even an Opossum! I love being able to bring smiles to people’s faces while teaching them about the animals I get to take care of every day!
2. What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?
I see Sherwood the Amazon Parrot in front of my desk, Ghost the Ball Python enjoying a soak in her water bowl, and I hear Hamilton our Broad-Winged Hawk squawking outside…he’s slowly finding his big-boy voice and it’s very cute to witness.
3. What is your favorite animal?
I love Ravens and Crows! Corvids are intelligent, playful, and social creatures that can teach us a lot of lessons about life, love, and how to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
4. What makes you laugh the most?
When Mockingbirds become DJ’s and do a mashup of different bird calls all in one long run-off sentence. (My friends look at me funny when I bust out laughing in the middle of a nice, quiet nature walk.)
5. Do you have any pets?
I have a dog named Boo! I got her on Halloween, she was found as a puppy alone after Hurricane Ike. I also have two indoor cats, Brutus and Artemis. Artemis was my welcoming committee here at Houston Audubon! On my 3rd day working here, she climbed up into the Birdmobile as an orphaned kitten, and now she’s spoiled and loves my older cat, Brutus.
6. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
WARNING: This human WILL talk to you for hours about nature-related topics. Please do not feed or remove from enclosure, which encourages this behavior.
7. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
I would love to think I am a Crow… However, my naturalist friends call me a Chickadee because apparently “I have a nice voice, I am small, and I am hyper”
8. What is your favorite city that you have visited?
San Juan, Puerto Rico is my favorite city so far! The whole island is full of the nicest humans, great food, and the daily sunset sounds of Coqui frogs singing their names. The mountainous rainforest, the crystal beaches, and all of the unique wildlife are what keep me wishing to go back some day!
9. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tacos. All the tacos, all the time.
10. What’s your favorite holiday?
I love Halloween! The costumes, the pumpkin carving, the spooky vibes, and the fall colors are my favorite!
Please say hi to Shelby the next time you see her at the Raptor Center or at an education program!