MARTIN Scuffins is a bird man at heart.
He runs his own birds of prey shelter and teaches children about birds and their place in the world.
Mr Scufffins talks to students at school camps at the Narmbool homestead, bringing along one of his birds, Kevvy, a nankeen kestrel, which is the smallest of the falcon breed.
“(Kevvy) sits nicely on my glove as I talk, she hops back and forth between a perch and she’s fed a mouse which kids think is pretty awesome,” Mr Scuffins said.
“I talk very largely about how we can help these amazing creatures in their natural environment, which we share with them.”
Mr Scuffins will be one presenter at the Narmbool Toolbox on August 8, a day for teachers and schools that wish to include sustainability and environmental practices in their curriculum.
“I’ll talk about the program I teach at Narmbool to students, and sustainability.”
Mr Scuffins has a government permit to own two birds for educational purposes.
He does take in other birds or prey at his shelter, Hawk Haven, when they are injured, to help build back their strength so they can be returned to the wild.
“I believe we have an obligation to pay that cost by helping injured wildlife to recover from its injuries and be returned to the wild,” Mr Scuffins said.
“So I take in injured birds of prey and owls that have been injured over the course of human activity, attempt to heal their injuries wherever possible and release them back into the wild in a high state of fitness.”
He said he had two main goals when it came teaching children about wildlife.
“If I can help kids to change their behaviour ... get kids to decide to live their lives in an environmentally ethical way and get them to fall in love with birds of prey,” he said.