CROW Feathers: Lilli Pederson

Where are you from?

"I’m from Chicago, Illinois"

What is your position at CROW?

"I am a fellow doing a six-month program here at CROW"

How long have you worked at CROW?

"I’ve been here for 4 months so far. I have 2 months to go!" 

What is your favorite animal and why?

"Two of my favorite animals that I look forward to working with as well as coming across in the wild are Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Ospreys! Loggerheads are just incredible, massive animals that always seem to amaze me. They’re considered a keystone species so many animals within its ecosystem depend on them for their own survival (this shows how each species is important throughout the world). Ospreys are tough, full-of-personality fish-eating birds of prey. They became my favorite animal when I wrote my undergraduate senior paper on the reintroduction of Ospreys; they were at one point an endangered species, but are now listed under least concerned which shows the importance of caring for animals in order for their population to continue to thrive."

What is your favorite memory or story from your time at CROW?

"The most vivid memories I have at CROW are with Loggerheads- ranging from missing flippers to accidental captures with fishing hooks. I remember the first time I saw one in the clinic, it literally took my breath away; I knew in that moment that I wanted to care for them for the rest of my life. They are such huge turtles and it makes you realize just how many beautiful creatures live in our surrounding waters. I think these memories stick so much in my mind because I know the importance of caring for these animals is crucial since they are an endangered species (and they’ve been around for 110 million years, it’s our duty to make sure they continue living for many more years- longer than us). Not only do we get in adults, but we also get hatchlings in that I have had the privilege of releasing back into the wild!

The absolute most memorable part of CROW would be that I am lucky enough to work with our American Kestrel ambassador Lola! This has allowed me to create a connection with a very special animal while also learning the equipment and the proper way to glove train raptors. I’ve also learned difference in behaviors, while also being able to tell if that animal is comfortable or not depending on their behavior or body language. It’s one thing to have this eye-opening experience at CROW, but it’s another to be able to develop a connection with one of the ambassadors; it is truly life changing and enlightening."


What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

"On my days off, I like to either spend time at the beach or hike/bike ride in nature preserves. While being out and about, I also photograph all of the wildlife I see. I’m a writer as well, so I like to write blogs about experiences I have with wildlife."


What are some of your goals or aspirations for the future?

"I am currently working towards obtaining my wildlife rehabilitation certification, then I’m planning on going back to school after this fellowship to become a veterinary technician. My main goal overall though is to have my own wildlife rehabilitation clinic, but that won’t be until I reach the knowledge that I am striving for in order to do so."