I grew up in Wooster, Ohio, which is about one hour south of Cleveland. I have always had a passion for animals, which led me to a Bachelor’s degree in Zoo and Wildlife Biology. My time in this program assured me that working with animals is what I wanted to do with my life. I was never really interested in birds growing up, but a mandatory ornithology class quickly changed my mind.
During college I had the opportunity to intern at Stump Hill Zoo, a local exotic animal sanctuary. During my time at this sanctuary I acquired experience with many different types of exotics, including a few types of parrots. The parrots housed at Stump Hill Zoo included Scarlet Macaws, White Cockatoos, African Grey Parrots, Amazon Parrots, and a Great Curassow. I have learned that taking care of large birds can be very exhausting work, but it can also be very rewarding.
After graduating from college in 2013, I married my college sweetheart and we started our life together. As we were looking for jobs, we came across the job post for The Oasis. The job just got better and better as we did more research on it. We were able to work together, the job was in the middle of beautiful southern Arizona, and my wife, also a Zoo and Wildlife major, who loves birds more than I do, was in love after the week of volunteering (part of the application process).
My favorite part of the job is the birds, by far. I love getting to know each bird and the personality that each one has.
Of all the birds at the Oasis, I have bonded with the lories the most. I love how easy going most of the lories are, especially Speedy (Violet-necked Lory).
My wife Lilly and I have four animals of our own. We have a 5-yr old Siamese, a 5-yr old Maine Coon, a 4-yr old bearded dragon, and a 1-yr old Great Dane. The family dynamics are quite different than one would expect, Lupin, the Great Dane, is scared of everyone else, though is at least 10 times bigger than everyone.