• Talking Talons Youth Leadership Talking Talons Youth Leadership


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Mission Statement

Talons are the powerful feet and claws of the bird of prey. Throughout human history the bird of prey has been stigmatized for its predatory nature. Today, through hunting, habitat destruction, agricultural pesticide use, and other human infrastructure, there is only a fraction of these magnificent animals with us today. Talking Talons holds two forms of wildlife permits that enable us the privilege of working with hawks, falcons and owls. A rehabilitation permit allows us to accept injured or orphaned birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, rehabilitate and eventually release them back to the wild. If an injury or human imprinting makes release impossible, we may list the bird on an educational permit that allows us to possess the birds for use in educational programs that help build awareness of science, conservation and stewardship.

Talking is one of the culminations of our youth leadership training efforts. Our curriculum provides, among a variety of important life and social skills, formal training in public speaking. The students involved learn about each of the animals in the program, live and up close, then learn how to teach others, their peers, the animals' stories and science. Public speaking has been cited as one of the #1 fears of adults. It is also one of the most valuable skills to learn, whether a child grows up to be an educator, politician, scientist, or entertainer. Talking Talons arranges opportunities for youth to perform live demonstrations with our birds, and talk about their science, biographies, their injuries and how they relate to larger environmental issues. Youth presentations involving live wildlife make powerful human animal connections, promote healthy lifestyles, advocate for the ethical treatment of animals, and describe hands on ways that anyone can become involved in conservation. Most importantly, youth presenters serve as positive role models for other youth. The messages: youth are VALUABLE RESOURCES in our community; youth can make a difference and affect their world positively; youth hold the potential to heal the planet and become leaders for the environment and voices for wildlife.


Talking Talons Youth Leadership needs volunteers in the following areas: Animal Care, Office Help (Including Receptionist & Data Entry), Cedar Crest Thrift Store.

From data entry to raptor care, let Talking Talons be the beneficiary of your valuable time and skills. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Jacqueline Ortega at: jacqui@talkingtalons.net



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Average Review 2 reviews

Would you recommend Talking Talons Youth Leadership?

by Anne H. (2011-01-08 14:08:44.0)
I loved meeting the animals; bats, birds, reptiles. Very quickly I was helping clean their cages and feed them. There's a lot of dirty work - laundry, in particular. There is also composting and weeding, if that is your passion. I was disappointed that most of the community work is done by employees - trips to schools, outreach, etc, and I was disappointed that employees made little effort to connect with me as a volunteer. However, if you want contact with critters, who will always appreciate clean water and fresh food, this is a good spot.
by Stephen R. from NM (2009-03-25 12:53:29.0)
Even though I wasn't comfortable working directly in the animals living areas, Talking Talons found a job that suited me-- building perches for the birds which go in their areas. The staff is friendly and I felt my work was appreciated.