Winging it…work experience with a difference

Moira with a sparrow hawk

Moira Reilly with a sparrow hawk at The Bird of Prey Centre, Co. Clare (Image: Simone Frick)

BEES student Moira Reilly recently took part in a work experience module as part of her degree. Her internship took her to the Birds of Prey Centre at Ailwee Caves in Co. Clare during the summer after her third year.

Moira was interviewed for The Irish Times newspaper and spoke to reporter Kate Holmquist about her time spent working with the birds:

For UCC zoology student Moira Reilly, working for free all summer long is “fun”, not work, though it does involve a lot of cleaning up after birds.

When she was younger, going on dolphin watches and working at local stables, Reilly decided her ideal career would be working outdoors with animals and interacting with the public as an educator.

At the Birds of Prey Centre at Ailwee Caves, she is doing just that – answering questions from the public while learning how to do “flying displays” with an owl, a falcon and a hawk.

Because she has volunteered, Reilly believes her CV will show that she has a genuine interest in the career, as well as initiative. She also hopes to use her experience with birds of prey in her fourth year at UCC, where her final-year university project will be on the behaviour of raptors (birds, to you and me) in the Burren.

After graduation, Reilly wants to travel and work with exotic animals around the world. Some of her classmates are volunteering this summer in the African savannah. “Any project like that would be brilliant,” she says.

Moira at the bird centre

Moira with a friend at the bird centre (Image: Irish Times)

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