When Jerome Gaw got the chance to volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, he was stoked. He'd loved sharks and marine life since he was a kid. But for his interview, he had to give a presentation on a creature he wasn't familiar with: the Great Blue Heron. But he read up on the bird, practiced his presentation again and again, and aced the interview. Over the years, his appreciation for birds has kept growing.
Spark Bird: Jerome Gaw at the Aquarium
Written by Mark Bramhill
Mark Bramhill: This is BirdNote.
[Ambient aquarium music starts]
Mark Bramhill: When Jerome Gaw got the chance to volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, he was stoked. He'd loved sharks and marine life since he was a kid. But for his interview, he had to give a presentation on a creature he wasn't familiar with:
Jerome Gaw: They asked me to prepare information on the Great Blue Heron. But I didn't know a lot about birds at the time.
Mark Bramhill: So he read up on the bird…
Jerome Gaw: And I learned that Great Blue Herons are the largest North American heron. And being somebody also of larger physical stature, I could kind of relate to that right away.
Mark Bramhill: Jerome kept practicing his presentation as he drove around LA…
Jerome Gaw: They're found in fresh and saltwater environments. They stand very still. They're very good at hunting. They'll eat anything. they're very observant. They just can stand very still for a long time.
Mark Bramhill: …and he aced the interview.
Jerome Gaw: On my first day at the aquarium for volunteering. I walked up toward the staff entrance and I heard this sound. And I looked up and a Great Blue Heron flew overhead.
[Wingbeats of Great Blue Heron flying overhead]
[Heron Flight calls]
Jerome Gaw: It was pretty thrilling.
Mark Bramhill: Jerome volunteered at the aquarium for six years. And his appreciation for birds kept growing.
Jerome Gaw: It's possible to see birds wherever you go. You want to see sharks? You might have to be a little bit lucky. But with birds, they're pretty much everywhere.
[Great Blue Heron calls]
Mark Bramhill: Jerome is a fantastic bird photographer and you can see his photo of a Great Blue Heron on our website, BirdNote.org. I'm Mark Bramhill.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Editor: Jazzi Johnson
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Great Blue Heron ML169297051 recorded by
Bill Schmoker, and Great Blue Heron ML171438881 recorded by Paul Marvin.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote March 2023
Narrator: Mark Bramhill
ID# sparkbird-23-2022-03-16 sparkbird-23