Dr. Peterson provides veterinary care for birds right here in Hillsboro!

claire web

Starting in January we are adding feathers to our furry clientele here at Frontier! I’m a relatively new face here at Frontier, so I wanted to introduce myself a little bit more and share with you my absolute love of birds! I have loved birds for longer than I can remember (you can just ask my parents!). They were always my favorite exhibits at the zoo and I would go to Audubon and take pictures of the wild song birds there for hours.

I first started working with birds when I was 13 years old. I found a wildlife rehabilitation center in Estacada and I dragged my mother into driving me out there as many times a week as she could stand it – I helped with injured song birds and raptors (birds of prey) and learned how to handle hawks and owls for education presentations. On my 18th birthday the only thing I wanted to do was drive out there to handle my first eagle (only 18 and older were allowed to handle eagles at this facility).

Ever since then I’ve had my foot in some sort of wildlife rehabilitation and education, continuing on into the present. I became a falconer officially a couple of years ago, and have used those skills to help re-condition injured and orphaned birds back to the wild. Falconry is an ancient sport that uses falcons and hawks to cooperatively hunt with a person.

I’ve also done internships with parrots and am continually blown away by how intelligent and personable they are. However, you can’t discount the smaller birds – I’ve owned several budgies and currently have two senior cockatiels who both have a personality MUCH bigger than their petite feathered size. I don’t think birds are given enough credit – they are incredibly smart and all have such complex personalities. Alex the African Grey parrot clearly showed world that the term “bird brain” is not correct at all!

I can’t wait to share how amazing birds are with everyone here at Frontier. We’ve been preparing for the last few months to get all of our figurative (and literal) ducks in a row. (I love ducks, by the way, what goofy birds!). Birds have opened my eyes to so many things – they have given me opportunities to travel to New Zealand (to study to kokako) and to the United Arab Emirates (to work in a falcon hospital there). I can’t imagine life without these experiences and I’m hoping to put all of this experience to good use in helping add a new veterinary option for those who have birds in the greater Hillsboro and Portland areas.

Click here to make an appointment for your bird to see Dr. Peterson!

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