Volunteer Spotlight: Audrey Duff

Photo: Audrey Duff

How long have you been a FLAP volunteer?

Donor since 1996, driver since 2014.

In what capacity do you volunteer?

Taking birds for medical treatment or for release back to the wild.

What initially drew you to volunteer with FLAP?

A newspaper article or maybe a FLAP ad about birds hitting windows downtown led me to become a donor in 1996 but I had to wait till semi-retirement to start volunteering for FLAP. Also, having been a cat person most of my life, I’m trying to make up for the early years when we all let our cats roam free!

What keeps you motivated?

Paloma, Susan and Michael are very good at making us feel appreciated. I have limited energy but want to feel that I am making a difference, no matter how small an effect I may have on the over-all carnage. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Can you tell me about a particularly memorable or rewarding experience?

One time when I released a bird it flew to the nearest low branch and sat and looked at me for what seemed like a long time before it flew away. I hoped it was saying thank you, but it might have just been thinking what a creep I was for keeping it in a paper bag, lol.

What’s your favourite bird and why?

I don’t have a favourite. I’m actually very ignorant when it comes to birds, but they are all so beautiful when you see them up close. They are struggling against such horrendous odds it just breaks my heart. If I have to choose, I’ll say “the little green ones”!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about volunteering with FLAP?

FLAP has a huge amount of knowledge about birds, and the staff and other volunteers have been more than willing to answer all my questions with patience and kindness. They are well organized, they don’t waste money and they make their volunteers feel very important! They have had enormous influence, especially when you consider they are a small organization. They are good at setting long term strategies and following through.

A feisty Golden-crowned Kinglet awaits transport to a quiet natural area for release. Photo: FLAP Canada

Interested in volunteering with FLAP? Check out our volunteer page for more information.