Rescue birds: a vital part of our Jr. Naturalist Program!

It’s that time of year again! Whitehawk is conducting its Environmental Education program with first grade students at International schools in Panama. Part of our Junior Naturalist Program involves bringing students to the forest for a morning of birding and wildlife watching. As part of our education program, we bring Jar Jar to the school. This rescued Black Hawk-eagle cannot be released back into the wild. He is a big hit with children and adults alike and is doing important work as an ambassador for his species!

Jar Jar is a Black Hawk-Eagle, one of Panama’s most impressive birds of prey. He hatched in the wild in Bocas del Toro, Panama in 2013. Unfortunately, someone stole him from his nest and raised him from a young age. The Ministry of the Environment confiscated him from those people. Animal rescue workers raised him to good health at a facility near Panama City. Whitehawk gave a permanent home to Jar Jar in 2013. Jar Jar has always been very calm around humans, indicating that he is “human imprinted”. This is a mental injury in which Jar Jar actually associates with humans rather than his own species. Unfortunately, he can never be released back into the wild, because he relies on humans for survival. He is an excellent ambassador and has met hundreds of students over the past years due to his calm demeanor. Being able to use a rescued Black Hawk-Eagle allows students to connect with their local environment and species found here.

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