Staff

Sunny Kellner

Wildlife Rehabilitator Specialist

860-364-0520 ext. 106, email

Favorite Bird: "I have so many favorites, it's difficult to choose just one. However, my lifelong favorite bird is the Canada Goose."

Sunny joined the Sharon Audubon Center staff on June 8, 2015, but she as no stranger to the center. She started volunteering here as a baby bird feeder when she was 13 years old and later began working with the raptors and assisting with summer camp. In high school, she was a member of the National Championship Envirothon team before heading to Lees-McRae College for Wildlife Rehabilitation in 2012.

The on-site facility at Lees-McRae handled roughly 1,500 animals a year, including songbirds, raptors, small mammals, bobcats, and reptiles. This program introduced her to the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), of which she is a member, and to the NWRA Symposia, which she attends annually. Sunny trained and supervised undergraduate students in all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation and education for 5 years in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

After graduating, Sunny stayed on as a mentor at BRWI (Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute), while continuing to work as a veterinary assistant at an animal hospital and volunteer at the Wolf Sanctum, a sanctuary for captive wolves and wolfdogs. Here she completed her senior thesis on Olfactory Enrichment for Captive Wolves and gained invaluable experience working with large carnivores that she would apply later in her career.

In 2013, Sunny broadened her horizons as the senior intern at Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center, the largest wildlife rehabilitation facility in Indiana, admitting more than 3,000 animals annually. She worked firsthand with eagles, coyotes, white-tailed deer, and rabies vector species. For one year she worked around the clock caring for wildlife and training volunteers and interns. She fondly recalls the weekly winter storms that snowed her in alone for days at a time to care for the 100+ animals on-site in –40 degree temperatures.

In 2014, Sunny returned to Connecticut and worked as an animal care technician at Sand Road Animal Hospital. Sunny’s love of wildlife and her desire to spread awareness and conservation continues to grow and is what brought her back to Sharon Audubon Center as our wildlife rehabilitator and outreach specialist. She is thrilled and honored to be giving back to the community that got her started on the path to saving wildlife.

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