Martha note: I've known Randy Huwa, executive vice president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, for ten happy years. Our friendship began when he worked as P.R. director for Montpelier; progressed through his time working at WMRA, and has remained firm (though sadly with much less contact) when he moved to the Wildlife Center.
He's also been a WMRA Community member (as a listener and supporter) for as long as I've known him. Randy Huwa, in other words, knows both me and public radio. So, he knew I'd enjoy this news from the Wildlife Center . . . and would think you might enjoy it as well.
So , please, help the Virginia Wildlife Center of Virginia name their new and educational Red-tailed Hawk!
|What's my name?|
"In January, the Wildlife Center, a leading teaching and research wildlife hospital located in Waynesboro, contacted 39 area elementary schools to ask students to provide suggestions for a name for the Red-tailed Hawk [the schools are in Augusta and Rockingham Counties and in Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro]. Students from 21 schools suggested more than 170 names, and five were chosen for the contest:
• Cherry Tail, suggested by Samantha Glick, a third-grader in Mrs. Rainey’s class at McSwain Elementary in Staunton. “A cherry on the stem reminded me of the hawk’s one eye. That’s what made me think of Cherry Tail.”
• Phoenix, suggested by Mrs. Fulk’s fourth-grade class at Peak View Elementary [Penn Laird]. “We thought of Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore’s pet bird that rose from the ashes and saves people in need."
• Poppy, suggested by Andrew Winfield, a fourth-grader in Mrs. Heizer’s class in Stuarts Draft Elementary. “Because poppies are red and she is a red-tailed hawk.”
• Ruby¸ suggested by Mrs. Phelps’ first-grade class at South River Elementary [Grottoes]. “We are currently studying Ruby Bridges. The kids thought since Ruby was a brave girl who fought to have a better life and since rubies are red, this would be a good name for a female red-tailed-hawk who also fought for her life.”
• Twizzler, suggested by Vinny Leo, a fourth-grader in Mrs. Quick’s class at Hugh K. Cassell Elementary [Waynesboro]. “Vinny’s idea is that Twizzlers are red, like the Hawk’s tail.”
"In addition to bragging rights, the school that suggested the winning name will receive a special visit from the hawk and Center staff. [In the case of multiple entries, the first school to suggest a name is the official nominator.]
"At the Wildlife Center, patients are assigned numbers, but education animals [permanent residents] are given names.
"'Our education animals help students better understand our state’s wildlife and the steps each of us can take to protect wildlife and the environment,' Amanda Nicholson, the Center’s Director of Outreach, said. 'It’s such a treat for students to get to see a hawk or an owl or an opossum up close. We’re delighted that area students and the general public will help us name this hawk, who will become another special "teacher" at the Wildlife Center.'"
|Gustavo, a Barred Owl|
"This is the first time that the Center has formally involved the public in naming an education animal. Other sources of names have included:
• Physical characteristics: Scarlette, Red-tailed Hawk;
• Species characteristics: Kettler, Broad-winged Hawk [these hawks migrate in huge flocks, called “kettles”];
• Former staff members: Quinn, Great Horned Owl;
• Center volunteers: Peg, Virginia Opossum;
• Literary characters: Severus, Eastern Ratsnake; and
• Famous actors: Edie, Falco sparverius, or American Kestrel.
"Additional information about these and other education animals is available here.
|The Wildlife Center of Virginia|
Martha note #2: Fun, right?