Furred, A Guide to Wildlife Handling and Care by Mae Hickman and Maxine Guy. These guides helped me raise young animals and rehab others. I received a wildlife rehab license and became a Master Bird Bander. Soon I was THE lady to call with your wildlife woes. In fact, my children grew up with hawks, owls, raccoons, kestrels, squirrels and lots of baby birds in our house. My survival and release rate was 85% and included training an owl with one leg to catch food and keeping a feisty male American kestrel in the china cabinet. The downside for my children was that they assumed every home had a similar menagerie as I overheard my daughter asking a school friend “So where do you keep your baby birds?” During that “professional rehab phase” I became Interpretive Naturalist and Wildlife Refuge Manager for the state park in Henderson called John James Audubon Park. At that time it was 632 acres and included a 9-hole golf course. Over the 10 years that I was there, I cut and maintained trails, inventoried the wildlife and plant species, managed habitat on
During those years, I met many people from across the world who were either accomplished birders or “Audubonites.” During that time, having known the founder of Audubon International for years, I was asked and agreed to serve on the A.I. Board of Directors. I served two full terms and during that time did natural resource consulting work in the vein of wildlife inventories for several projects that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would eventually become Signature Program members. Early in my first term as a director, I received a call from the local accredited zoo responding to my previously submitted application for employment. I had long forgotten about that application but it seemed they were interested in a second interview. At about the same time, I was offered the job with Audubon International. Each job came with a caveat. The zoo wanted to know my position on euthanization of endangered species, most specifically snow leopards. On the Audubon International side, after my interview for the
Left: Nancy stops to watch a green heron during a recertification site review of Evergrene in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The property was the first solely residential Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary in the world. Right: In preparation for the initial site visit to the Lumine Golf Course located within PortaVentura Theme Park in Tarragona, Spain, Nancy, second from left, meets with the president of PortaVentura as well as the golf course architect and the general manager of the resort.
and around the golf course and installed a bluebird trail around the perimeter of the course. In addition, I worked to make the entire wilderness area the first public land to be dedicated by The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission as a Kentucky Nature Preserve. I also pursued and received National Landmark designation for the WPA park structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the park.
position, I was told I had the Signature job IF I could make the program succeed. I knew how I felt about euthanization, period. There had to be a better solution to overbreeding of endangered species. So I said ‘goodbye’ to following in Marlin’s footsteps. This program working with Audubon International seemed risky, and I was