Posts Tagged ‘Misha’

by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Zoe Keeps Katy Company

June 21st, 2014

In the Animal Department most of the keepers share an office. It is crazy to think, but we cram 6 keepers into 1 office! Sherry has her own office, but she has a window and her office opens into the Keeper office so she is always around much activity. Aaron has his own office, but it also has a window. For me I get to spend my time in the lonely Vet room without a window and without companionship so whenever an animal is ill and has to spend time in the Vet room I get a little too excited to have the company. Usually when an animal has to spend time in the Vet room it is for a very long period of time. We had a chicken (PPAL or Princess Poops A Lot) who spent over a year in the Vet room and there was Nimbus Rabbit who spent many months in the Vet room and now it is Zoe Turtle’s turn to hang out in the Vet room and I couldn’t be happier! I never in my life thought I would get so excited to have the companionship of a turtle but the days that Zoe gets to hang out with me are the best days of the week! I know he gets bored, but I enjoy his company greatly! Zoe is a water turtle and is recovering from a shell wound so he must be out of the water for a certain period of time to give the medication time to work. I’ve been trying to give him stuff to do while he “dry docks” (stays out of the water) but my ideas don’t seem to impress him, but today I put out a hide log and this is what he did with it!

2014 May 19 008

Zoe using Enrichment!

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Nimbus and Silkie Chicken hanging out in the Vet Room.


Princess Poops A Lot and Katy in the Vet Room!

On Friday May 23, 2014 I had a very special visitor to the Vet room and I was super excited! Many people don’t know but we have a Red-tailed Hawk who lives off exhibit behind-the-scenes and on Friday we had some electrician’s working in Misha’s area so Misha got to come hang out with me in the Vet room! It was the best day, I had Zoe and Misha to keep me company!

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Misha hanging out!

2014 May 27 002

Misha on his perch.

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuiKPic: Raptor handling

February 27th, 2013

I train the keepers and educators to handle our two program raptors. (Misha and Christopher). I’ve completed five weeks of work with Molly, but she still needs to practice. She’s decided to send me a photo every time she take out one of the birds to show me of her commitment.  Way to go Molly!

Molly with Christopher

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  1. What a cutie! Christopher is pretty cute too ;)

    Posted by Erin

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Signs of the Season

November 2nd, 2012

Ranger Greg may have noticed the first signs of the impending season change back in August, but here in the Animal Department, we hold off until the middle of October to make our changes from the summer heat to the winter cold. We also have our animals to let us know when it’s time to shut off the fans and turn on the heaters. Scout, the duck, molts all of his old summer feathers to prepare for what would be a fall migration and he starts running around the farmyard in the morning like he’s training for a race. Henry, the woodchuck, and our 4 bears, all pack on a few pounds with the start of fall and then slow way down, spending most of their days sleeping. The bears, wolves, steer, donkey and many others begin to grow in an extra thick coat of fur to ward off the impending cold.


One of my favorite signs of the season comes from our Red-tailed Hawk, Misha. Our normally quiet, calm hawk becomes very chatty in the early hours of the autumn mornings.

YouTube Preview Image


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  1. I love that you got footage of Misha doing this! I’ve heard him but never seen him.

    Posted by sherrys
  2. whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You recognize, many persons are searching around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

    Posted by mobilabonnement

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
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Misha’s Perch

January 9th, 2012


If you have never thought about it,ponder for a moment what it might be like to have to stand on one surface forever. You’re probably thinking how uncomfortable  that would be. Well, for humans it would be because we aren’t made to stand for hours on end and jump off at a moments notice. We are capable of doing these things but our body wasn’t designed that way. Birds are different, they stand for a majority of their lives and their weights and joints are made differently.

At the museum, we need to make sure that what our birds stand on is proper for them. If not, they can develop foot sores.Next time you are at the museum, look at our owl exhibits and see if you notice these things:

Different woods- different branches of different kinds of trees have different textures. This can help with with their nails and a lot of times the birds like to either strip the bark off with their feet or beak.

Different sizes- the diameter of the branches differ for different kinds of birds. The feet have to be a comfortable fit with the branch, not too large and not too small. We put in different sizes for comfort as well as giving the birds foot “exercise” so the bird has to flex his feet for the different diameters.

Different textures- sometimes our perches are wrapped in foam,AstroTurf ,rope or neoprene. This can help with the comfort of the bird if the bird is a little bit older and needs a little more padding. Its also something that’s different for the bird.

Here the birds are perched on rope with an astro-turf perch pictured as well

Photo:Richard Brunotte

Stability- Of course all of our perches are safely secure but sometimes we purposefully secure them so they have a little bounce to them. This simulates how branches are in the wild since they usually have a little spring in them and the birds have to use their muscles to balance on them.

The last is my favorite.If you have followed our blog then you already know about out older Red Tailed Hawk, Misha.

Since he lives outside and is an older bird we want him to be very comfortable. When the nights get VERY cold we bring out birds inside, sometimes when its cooler and not bad enough to bring them in we turn on Misha’s perch.

Heated- Birds lose heat through their legs and feet.So, we decided to give extra heat through a perch rather then using a bulb or heater. Our exhibits department came up with a brilliant idea of heating with Christmas light bulbs. His perch is made of metal pole where several strands of Christmas lights  inside. The lights give off enough heat to warm and not burn and the perch is wrapped with comfy and soft neoprene.


This is an example of bumble foot. A painful condition that can be helped with proper perches.



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  1. so attentive

    Posted by imigyjunia
  2. I agree.. so attentive and so compassionate towards the bird’s needs.

    Posted by DJ

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

Happy Birthday!

March 31st, 2011

Normally, we do not post blogs for an animals birthday, there would be way too many entries and too many cakes to bake. However, this month is special for one of our Red Ruffed lemurs,Cynthia. This promsimian turns the big 3-0! That’s right, 30 years old! Another primate turning 30 around here is Keeper Kim. Normal lifespan for a lemur in captivity is early 20s.  Another older lemur we have is Lycus, who was born in 1985.

We have other animals which are older but we cant prove it because we do not have the birth records, we have an arrival date but not a birth date. Misha, the red tailed hawk arrived in 1993, we know he was at least 2 years old because he had lost his juvenile feathers. Two of our barred owls arrived in 1989 and were adults as well.These birds can live into their 30s. When it comes to snakes, we have a rattle snake that arrived in 1990 at the age of 8. We cant forget about our oldest bear  Ursula , who just turned 20 this year and some of the turtles we don’t even have an arrival date on.

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  1. Happy belated Birthday, Cynthia!

    Posted by Åsa
  2. how do you no when your red ear turtle is a boy or girl

    Posted by marla
  3. Hey there Marla!
    Let me answer this one for Jill if that’s okay. Once your turtles are a few inches long, look at their front fingernails. If you have a male, the claws will be super long, like Wolverine from X-Men :) If you have a girl, they will be shorter and normal ratio length. The male uses his long claws to attract the females during the mating season when they are a little bit older.
    You can also tell a little by ther length of the tails, with males having a longer tail than the females, but this a little harder to tell by unless you’re used to looking at alot of turtles. :) The claw method is the easiest way.
    Good luck with it and have a good one!

    Posted by Mikey

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Creature Feature: Misha the Red-tailed Hawk

March 13th, 2008
You may have seen a recent post about Birdapalooza, an event held here a few weeks ago. The day-long event included programs that discussed different species of birds, including raptors. Keeper Jill took the opportuntiy to do a program with our red-tailed hawk, Misha. Misha was born in the wild, but in November 1991 he was brought to the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, N.C. with an eye injury.The staff there rehabilitated him and taught him to sit on a glove so he could be used for programs. The Raptor Center entrusted Misha to us in February 1993.

Misha was shot in his left eye with a beebee that left him blind on that side. Unfortunately, this meant he was not releasable into the wild after rehabilitation at the center. Raptors rely heavily on their keen binocular vision and depth perception to catch their food. Being blind in one eye meant that he no longer had these advantages, and would also be prone to running into objects on the left side while in flight.

We are not sure how old Misha is since he was born in the wild. Red-tailed hawks don’t get their red tail plumage until their second year, and Misha had them when he arrived at the Raptor Center. This meant he was already an adult, at least 1.5 years old. Based on that, Misha would now be around 18 years or older.

For many years we were also not sure what sex he was. Male and female red-tailed hawks share the same basic plumage and they also overlap in regards to size, so there was no way of knowing unless we ran further tests. Just recently we sent his blood for DNA testing and it was determined that he was, in fact, a male.

Misha is currently one of the longest standing residents in the animal department. According to 12-year veteran Keeper Kent, he has barely shown any signs of aging in all his time here. Below is a picture of his beautiful red tail plumage, which is the best way to identify this species of hawk in the wild. The plumage of red-tailed hawks can vary between individuals, so Misha’s colors and patterns will not be exactly the same as others.Please visit the web site of Carolina Raptor Center at for more information on red-tailed hawks and other raptors.

Join the conversation:

  1. Awesome post…it is nice to be able to share Misha with the public.

    Posted by Katy
  2. Misha is tha bomb!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Jill
  3. Wait- Misha’s a male? All the time I visited, camped, volunteered, and worked at the museum I thought Misha was a “Mi-she”.

    Posted by Taylor

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