Capturing Precious Moments: Ferris’s First Murre Encounter

Ferris Bergeles, daughter of Bird Rescue’s Projects Specialist Devin Bergeles, saw her first Common Murre at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

The early years of a child’s life are a time of wonder and discovery, and there’s no better way to ignite their curiosity and foster a deep connection with the natural world than by introducing them to wildlife.

Our Projects Specialist and recent new mother, Devin Bergeles, took a trip with her family to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, WA this past month. The visit was a very meaningful experience for her because it was her first chance to introduce her young daughter, Ferris, to Common Murres, who are regular patients at Bird Rescue. We checked in with Devin to gather some of her thoughts and feelings on this special occasion:

In matching mustard coats, Bird Rescue’s Projects Specialist Devin Bergeles introduced her daughter Ferris to Common Murres at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

Question: How did you decide to take Ferris to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium for her first zoo experience?

Answer: This was the first zoo I went to as a child. I remember seeing the large marine mammals, and I am sure I owe part of my career to this zoo. I have always been fascinated with marine species, and I eventually majored in marine biology.

It was an easy choice for us when deciding which zoo we would bring Ferris to – and now we have a membership! This zoo is local to us, but it also is a zoo that believes in the integrity, privacy, and welfare of the animals. They have large enclosures and many places for them to stay away from the public eye if the animals choose not to be on display that day. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium are also active in species protection and conservation.

It was an amazing experience showing Ferris the murres up close because it was a way to introduce her to the life-saving work that I have done with International Bird Rescue. I can’t wait to continue bringing her to this spot and teaching her more and more as she grows.

Q: Why are Common Murres meaningful to you?

A: I became aware of Common Murres while working with International Bird Rescue as an intern at the wildlife hospital in Los Angeles. They are a very charismatic and common species that we see at Bird Rescue during the winter, often contaminated with oil from the natural seeps along the southern California coastline. Because of this, I got to learn about their complexities in wildlife rehab and improve my skills in helping oiled wildlife.

Q: When you were a young child, what was your relationship with birds? Did you know very much about them?

A: Oddly enough, my mother was afraid of birds, so my knowledge was very little! My interests were mostly marine mammals, but because of that interest, I took many marine biology courses and learned about aquatic species of birds from them.

Q: What might you want to share with Ferris that either you wish you’d experienced or did experience as a kid?

A: I am excited to open her eyes to a bigger world. My knowledge of bird species was very limited as a kid and because I have the knowledge and passion now, I am looking forward to sharing that with her. The idea of Ferris growing up with a vast knowledge of avian species helps me imagine that she will take a love of animals and nature with her wherever she goes. I want her to be aware of all life on earth and with that awareness, I hope it will teach compassion.

Q: What values regarding animals and the environment do you want to teach your children?

A: I hope my children grow up knowing that humans are just one of the species that inhabit the earth. The more opportunities children have to learn about wildlife creates an inquisitive mind – the more they know, the more they can ask, and the more they will observe. I believe that an early introduction to wildlife teaches compassion and carries over into how they treat their friends, family, and strangers. It also helps create a foundation where they intrinsically care for the environment – not something that they have to worry about or work hard to make a habit.