Hiram College

An interview with Chelsea Barattini ’11, by Dominique Blanc ’09

Q. How did you find out about bird watching at the field station?

A: I love anything biology-related that I can get my hands on, and when I heard about the ornithology class last semester, I was intrigued. Turns out, I loved the class, and Professor Mabey. I bird much more in my spare time now than I ever did before I took the class. The James H. Barrow Biological Field Station has a great representation of some of Northeast Ohio’s most beautiful and interesting backyard birds (and some rarer specimens as well).

Q: What do you like best about it?
A: Being from Southeast Louisiana, I am loving the chance to get to see many species of birds I would never get a chance to see in my home town. I also like the close proximity of the Field Station to Hiram. It’s quick and easy for students who are interested in birding, biology, and just nature in general, to get a taste of real Ohio wildlife. There are several different habitats located on the property, so you never have to worry about getting bored with the same old thing every time you go hiking out there.

Q: What do you like best about working at the field station this summer? Least?

A: I love the hands-on field experience I’m getting by spending so much time at the Field Station observing birds. I also like the constant practice and challenge I get every day with bird songs and calls, from the easy ones to the more complex. It is great getting to work out in the woods, and we are developing great observational skills while collecting important information about bird ecology and behavior for the Field Station. If I had to pick something that bugged me a little, it would be the 5 a.m. mornings, but hey, we’re observing birds, and they wait for no man.

Q: How will this help your student career?

A: As a biology major with a special interest in environmental studies, I feel like I will benefit from what I learn this summer, perhaps to help me with future classes (anatomy, GIS programming, etc.), perhaps to get me thinking about my Apex presentation.

Q: How will this help your future?

A: I love animals of all kinds, and birds hold a particular fascination for me. I plan on going to vet school after Hiram, and I think my knowledge of wildlife (especially birds) may come in handy if I decide I’d like to specialize in rehabilitation cases.