Hannah Atkinson has been named the new director of Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s Eyes in the Sky program.
Ms. Atkinson, a licensed and experienced falconer, served as a volunteer in the program before the 2018 retirement of director and founder Gabriele Drozdowski.
Chris Mersey has been interim director until the appointment of Ms. Atkinson, who was chosen from a pool of candidates. Mr. Mersey is working with Ms. Atkinson during the transition in leadership.
Eyes in the Sky has been based at an aviary in the woodsy backyard of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol.
There, handlers care for birds who, because of previous injuries, illness or other reasons, are unable to fly or otherwise live on their own in the wild. They were adopted from wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Eyes in the Sky has served as Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s key education program since 2000.
The birds are shown to museum visitors between 2 and 4 p.m. daily. Locations on various days are listed at www.eyesinthesky.org.
“I am very excited to continue the work begun by Gabriele and our long-standing team of dedicated volunteers,” Ms. Atkinson said in a news release.
“The birds of Eyes in the Sky have a special ability to bridge the gap between people and wildlife, and to spark awe and enthusiasm for the natural world all around us,” she said. “The program is an asset to the Santa Barbara community, and I’m honored to take a central role in that.”
In her spare time, Ms. Atkinson, a graduate of the UCSB College of Creative Studies, cares for her red-tailed hawk, Val (short for Valkryie). She also practices falconry with Val.
For more information, contact Eyes in the Sky at 869-1963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.