Thursday, July 31, 2014
Whether it be on an outdoor adventure or simply in your backyard, you may have spotted a tree with rows of holes in the bark and wondered to yourself, “What sort of creature made these?”
A dying Birch tree with rows of sapwells (photo: The Wikipedia files)
I recently came upon one such tree and was struck with a great curiosity to learn more. As you can see in the photograph, there are many rows of holes.
A male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (photo: The Wikipedia files)
The creature who made the holes is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. It is mostly black and white with a red and black face. The black head feather parts curve down from the bill and eyes to the back of the head and breast shield. Males have a red throat whereas females’ throats are more of a buff brown. Keep an eye open for that thick white wing bar as well.
A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (photo: The Wikipedia files)
This woodpecker, as its name suggests, drills what are called sapwells into a tree’s bark and laps at the sap and any unlucky insects hidden within the tree. The brush-like tongue allows for easy access to those yummy treats. Although they prefer Maples and Birches, this bird will feed from many tree species with sap that has high sugar content.
Not only do Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers eat sap and insects from beneath the tree bark, they have also been known to eat fruit. And, don’t forget to keep an eye on those suet feeders as they will occasionally take an easy snack found in your neighborhood.
Don’t be surprised if you have some other visitors to a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sapwell. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird will delight in a sap stop as will many other birds.
The next time you visit the World Bird Sanctuary be sure to keep an eye out for these interesting birds. You never know what birds you may see when walking our trails or sitting on the benches surrounding our bird feeding stations.
Submitted by Leigh French, World Bird Sanctuary Grants Farm Show Trainer
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Earlier this month I received news that World Bird Sanctuary’s Education Training Center, or ETC, would be housing a white pelican nicknamed Nigel. I have written about him in a previous blog, but for those who don’t know, Nigel was rehabilitated at the wildlife hospital located at WBS.
From this perspective Nigel is all beak (photo: Adam Triska)
After several months of rehab, Nigel has shown some improvement but still is unable to walk. It was decided that the best thing would be to keep Nigel in the care of people for the remainder of his life. The injury to his left leg and foot is just too debilitating for him to survive in the wild.
Nigel spends his days in an indoor pool where he swims and eats at his leisure. One of Nigel’s favorite activities of the day is when we help him preen the feathers around his head and neck. Preening can be described as the behaviors associated with the cleaning or upkeep of the feathers on a bird. We noticed that he was unable to remove the outer casing of the new feathers growing in, and it seemed uncomfortable for him, so daily we help him out by lightly scratching around his head and neck. I scratched on the back of his head and he stretched his neck out and started to move his bad leg in a scratching motion, just like a dog does when you scratch behind its ears! It was a great indication that he was enjoying the extra attention. It was also a comical and gratifying experience for me.
As much as we enjoy Nigel, hopefully his stay at the ETC will be short. We are currently working to place Nigel at a different facility. We want to send him to a place where he will be able to enjoy an outdoor pond and some new pelican friends. He has been a great resident and teacher to the new interns and volunteers and will be sorely missed when he goes to his new home.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
May has been a very busy month with lots of photography options. My first opportunity came with a work adventure.
One of the Osprey parents circling overhead (photo: Cathy Spahn)
World Bird Sanctuary works with many organizations when it comes to bird issues. In this case it came with an Osprey that had nested on a crane over 180 feet in the air. The organization wanted to help the birds, yet the crane was needed. So, several of us went on an adventure to rescue the eggs. I stayed on the ground taking photos, since I have a very large fear of heights.
An unhappy Osprey parent (photo: Cathy Spahn)
Walter and Adam adventured up in a lift to the nest to rescue the eggs. While taking photos of what was going on I took a few nice photos of the Osprey parents as they hovered overhead. The eggs were taken to World Bird Sanctuary to be put in the incubator. If the eggs hatch we will then raise the young for release back into the wild.
The next photo opportunity came at World Bird Sanctuary’s Annual Spring Camera Day. I usually work the event, so I do not have a ton of time to take photos, but I can usually take a few. There are two photos that came out of this day that I really like. The first is Rustle, the Nine-banded Armadillo.
Rustle the Nine-banded Armadillo (photo: Cathy Spahn)
This year I decided to try something different and went for Rustle. Rustle is a very challenging subject to photograph because he does not sit still. We put Rustle on table with logs, leaves, flowers, and rocks. He went to town plowing it all over and knocking about 80% on to the ground. Then he discovered a small colony of ants that came out of the log and he got a nice big snack! He had a good time and will be a guest again at camera day, but possibly in a different set up.
Oliver (above) & Timber (in box) demonstrating the two Screech Owl color phases (photo: Cathy Spahn)
The next Camera Day photo opportunity came at the end of the day. I really wanted to try getting a few photos of our two Eastern Screech Owls Timber and Oliver in the same photo. First the trick to this photo was to keep the birds separated so they could not get to each other. The first set up involved a large log and one screech owl up high and one down low. That was a good idea, but the photo was still very distant. Then I remembered that we have a screech owl box set up. We put Timber inside the box, since he does not mind the box. Then we put Oliver on top, since he was not sure of the box earlier in the day. They both sat perfectly! This was my favorite of the two birds and a nice way to show the two different color phases.
Jim, the farmer, and me with two of the babies (photo: Jeff Meshach)
The last work adventure that resulted in many photos was a sudden trip. One day I was leaving to head out bird watching when Jeff Meshach, WBS director, pulled up and asked if I would like to go with him to place Barn Owls for release. Away we went heading south to a farm with 6 Barn Owls to be hacked into the wild.
The Barn Owl fledglings adjusting to their new environment (photo: Cathy Spahn)
Hacking is the process of putting young birds into an artificial nest, or in this case a barn. The nest is closed for a period of time (so the babies can’t leave) and humans provide food. Then the doors are opened. As the babies fly to and from the artificial nest, humans provide food for anywhere from a few days to a week. This supplements food they may catch as they develop their flight skills. The young are then off and on their own. This method has been used for a long time and has helped to bring many endangered species back from the brink of extinction, such as the Peregrine Falcon. This photo was taken by Jeff of Jim the farmer and me with two of the owls ready to go.
So these are just a few of my photos for the month. Sometimes the photo opportunities are planned and other times they just happen. I have had people say they want to come with me to take photos. I can fully admit sometimes it really is just dumb luck on what comes about. What makes the big difference is just getting out and taking photos--not just sitting at home waiting for something to happen.
Submitted by Cathy Spahn, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist
Friday, July 25, 2014
It’s that time of year again when the World Bird Sanctuary's in-house band, The Raptor Project, is gearing up for our August concert series—Birds in Concert!
The Raptor Project often invites the kids to join them onstage during one of their songs
Join us on any Thursday evening in August for some fun and FREE entertainment by The Raptor Project. They will be performing songs from their popular children’s environmental education CDs while birds fly just inches over the audience’s heads. Fun songs include “Turkey Named Fred,” “Roadkill Shiver,” “Mr. Frog Blues,” “The Pelican Song,” and others. “Raptor Project” performances are followed by guest artists such as Javier Mendoza and others. For more detailed information CLICK HERE.
There will also be games and giveaways from several corporate sponsors.
Whole Foods Market will have a trail mix station for the kids at each concert.
Featured artists for our 2014 Birds in Concert series are:
8/7 – Raptor Project followed by Javier Mendoza
8/14 – Raptor Project
8/21 – Raptor Project followed by Fowl Play
8/28 – Babaloo followed by the Raptor Project
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
WHEN: EVERY THURSDAY EVENING IN AUGUST
August 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
TIME: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Admission and parking FREE.
No reservations required
Bring your coolers, picnic dinners and lawn chairs if you like.
Snacks and beverages available for purchase
For the safety of our other guests and our birds – no pets please.
Birds in Concert is sponsored by Ameren Missouri
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Anyone who knew me before my internship at World Bird Sanctuary knows that I absolutely love owls. Anyone who met or spoke to me after the start of my internship knows that my all time favorite bird is Tigger, the Tawny Owl.
Many people love owls because they are adorable, which is completely true. However, they are also amazing creatures! For example, owls can turn their heads 270 degrees around. This enables them to look over their right shoulder, completely behind them, and then over their left shoulder in the same glance!
Most owl species have fringing on their outer wing feathers, which muffles air flowing over their wings and gives them silent flight. This makes it much easier to sneak up on their prey.
One truly remarkable owl species is the Barn Owl. You can find videos of these amazing birds online that demonstrate just how incredible these birds really are. One such video that I found demonstrates just how incredible a Barn Owl's sense of hearing truly is. The one in the video is trained that a certain sound leads to food and is trained to find the source of the sound. You can see that the sound device is placed in an area of tall grass where it is not visible. As soon as the sound is made the owl flies directly to the source. In slow motion, you can see the owl's head is completely locked right on target the entire time. These birds are some of the best hunters I have ever seen.
Many people, myself included, love Tawny Owls because they are so adorable. However, these birds are considered a prey species. Tawny Owls share habitat with the second largest owl species, the Eurasian Eagle Owl. Because of this, Tawny Owls are known to be quite aggressive. These birds will chase larger birds and animals from their territory. People who have hobbies like bird watching and wildlife photography will actually avoid Tawny Owl territory during breeding season. These owls have been known to fly after people, as well as other predators, to flush them out of the Tawny Owl territory.
I have been able to witness some of these adaptations this summer while working at WBS’s Stone Zoo bird show in Boston. We have two great owls with us--Cupid, the Barn Owl, and Peabody, the Tawny Owl.
There are many more amazing adaptations and traits of owls that I enjoy learning about every day that I work with these birds.
If you live in or are visiting the Boston area this summer, be sure to schedule a visit to Stone Zoo—and in particular, the bird show. I think you will agree with me that these beautiful creatures are amazing!
Monday, July 21, 2014
The World Bird Sanctuary would not be able to properly care for our birds without the help of our staff and volunteers. They are hardworking, dedicated, and most of all passionate about everything they do. To show our appreciation, we want to spotlight individuals who make day-to-day work at the World Bird Sanctuary run smoothly.
Originally from Michigan, Jessica earned her degree in Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University. Jessica initially heard about the World Bird Sanctuary in 2012 thanks to her family that lives in the area. While visiting, her aunt took her to World Bird Sanctuary because she knew Jessica was interested in the hands-on aspect of wildlife as opposed to the research side. Jessica applied for our volunteer program in the fall to gain more experience for her résumé. Six months later, Jessica became a staff member as an ETC (Educational Training Center) Supervisor in our behind the scenes area of the World Bird Sanctuary.
A typical day for Jessica includes food preparation, taking care of the ETC birds, summer maintenance and projects, and Keeper Chats on the weekends. Jessica also helps fly the Bald Eagles daily and she helps to train the eagles as well.
Jessica’s favorite part about working for the World Bird Sanctuary is the interaction she gets with the birds. She loves getting to know the individual birds’ personalities and she says so few places let you do that. Jessica also enjoys working the display line for the Keeper Chats on the weekends. The display line is part of WBS’s public area.
If she had to pick one, Jessica’s favorite bird is the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, Cousteau. Her favorite part about him is that he is very vocal, and that his personality is all his own.
We at the World Bird Sanctuary are extremely lucky to have staff and volunteers who are devoted to the care of all our birds. Thank you Jessica for everything you do for the World Bird Sanctuary!
Submitted by Mary Beth St. Peters, Fundraising and Social Media and Fundraising Intern
Saturday, July 19, 2014
With the start of 2014, I’ve finished up my second winter season in Missouri after moving here from Michigan two years ago.
Being a Michigan native, I’m no stranger to long, hard winters, but the many false starts into spring this past year are enough to drive any seasoned northerner a little goofy. With the seemingly endless winter and dreary days of white snow and gray slush, I was getting restless and bogged down. However, the flicker of blue I saw dancing through my family’s yard got me really excited one afternoon in late January.
A male and female Eastern Bluebirds (photo: The Wikipedia files)
I was delighted to discover that the Eastern Bluebird, my favorite songbird, was a common inhabitant in Missouri. I only had to step out on my back porch and likely a Bluebird would come weaving and bobbing thru the yard.
On March 30, 1927, the Eastern Bluebird was adopted as the state bird of Missouri due to how common it is and its cheery appeal, earning the species the nickname ‘The Bluebird of Happiness’. A very appropriate name as the appearance of Bluebirds are considered a sign of spring returning and uplifting for most people tired of cabin fever.
Among many Native American tribes, the Bluebird is a symbol of spring. In the Iroquois culture the Bluebird’s cheery song is the driving force to chase away the oppressive and destructive deity, Tawiscaron (representing winter), to allow the transition to spring. For other tribes, such as the Cherokees, the Bluebird is connected to the wind and has the ability to control the weather.
While the Eastern Bluebird is listed as a species of least concern, they have not gotten by without challenges to population sizes. Their population numbers have suffered in the last century mainly due to habitat loss and competition with European Starlings and House Sparrows. The Eastern Bluebird has thrived as well as it has due to the efforts of birders and conservationists to setup man-made nest boxes for Eastern Bluebird needs.
I would encourage everyone to join in providing nest boxes for our state bird. Nest box plans are available on the World Bird Sanctuary website (http://www.worldbirdsanctuary.org/index.php/freestuff/nestbox) or you can pick up nest boxes already assembled at the World Bird Sanctuary Hospital for a small donation when you visit.
Submitted by Jessica Bunke, World Bird Sanctuary Trainer
Thursday, July 17, 2014
During the summer in Missouri, you might catch a glimpse of a squat, strange-looking little member of the shorebird family called a Woodcock.
These funny little fellows, also called Timberdoodles, can be quite elusive, not because they are threatened (they’re actually listed as a species of least concern), but because they have such darn good camouflage.
Unlike its coastal cousins, the American Woodcock spends most of its time on the ground in fields or on the forest floor, where its buff, brown, and black coloration makes it incredibly difficult to spot. Like other shorebirds, the Woodcock has a long slender bill, which it uses to probe the soil for worms and other invertebrates. The very tip of this bird’s bill has the ability to open and close while underground, enabling it to snatch up slippery prey.
Because this little bird spends much of its time with its bill to the ground, the Woodcock has evolved a unique way of keeping an eye out for predators – it has eyes in the back of its head. Okay, not quite, but it comes close. Woodcocks have eyes located high and near the back of their skulls. This placement not only allows them to watch the sky while they forage, it also gives them one of the largest fields of vision of any bird, able to see nearly 360 degrees around them horizontally.
The American Woodcock is a migratory bird; though migration is irregular and not easily observed, since these birds often migrate individually or in small groups, and migrate at night. They only migrate a short distance, if at all. Migratory flights are leisurely and at low altitudes. In fact, the American Woodcock lays claim to the slowest flight ever recorded. Although normal migratory flights of the Woodcock range from 16 to 28 miles per hour, Woodcocks have been clocked at a whopping 5 miles per hour in flight.
The American Woodcock nests in the springtime, with the female laying her eggs in a shallow nest on the ground. Males will mate with multiple females, so the male provides no parental care. When the young hatch, they only spend a few hours in the nest before venturing out with mom. These precocious youngsters (meaning able to fend for themselves very soon after hatching) still depend on their mother for food for about a week before beginning to probe for food themselves.
American Woodcocks are a game bird; one of the few shorebirds still hunted. Well managed hunting does not appear to greatly affect their populations. Recent declines are due to habitat loss. It is important to preserve shrubland and young forests as breeding grounds for these birds. It may not seem an urgent cause now, but taking steps to conserve a species is much easier than bringing a species back from the brink of extinction. It would truly be a shame to lose such a unique bird.
The next time you walk one of the woodland trails at the World Bird Sanctuary, keep an eye out for “Timberdoodles”. You never know when one of these unique birds might erupt from almost under your feet
Submitted by Johanna Burton, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Matt Levin has one of the most interesting histories with World Bird Sanctuary.
Matt’s Mom, Barb. hired World Bird Sanctuary to present Matt’s 5th BIRDDAY PARTY. A World Bird Sanctuary BIRDDAY PARTY includes 4 live creatures at your party. If you are a Reptile lover you can have Reptiles at your party and or birds. Matt’s party was presented by Naturalist Laura Austen who worked for WBS for many years.
Matt enjoyed his BIRDDAY PARTY so much that he later was seen out in his back yard with a gardening glove mimicking the World Bird Sanctuary Bird Trainers. It is one of Barb Levin’s favorite stories from Matt’s childhood.
Matt later became a Junior Volunteer at World Bird Sanctuary at the age of 13. He volunteered multiple days a week in the summer months and could also be counted on to help during all holiday school breaks.
Matt became friends with all the staff. He is a great guy who works hard from start to finish. Matt proved so reliable that he eventually helped train the newer volunteers and interns.
During the Summer of 2013 Matt was hired to be a trainer at our Milwaukee County Zoo bird show. He helped train and fly our birds and present the educational Zoo show.
Matt currently attends Truman State University during the school year. This year, 2014, Matt is helping at our Grant’s Farm bird show 2 days a week. He also is working behind the scenes at WBS on the other days of the week.
All of the staff at WBS are fond of Matt and so grateful for all of the time he donates to our organization. The eager five-year-old has grown into a witty, responsible adult.
If you have a youngster who loves animals perhaps a World Bird Sanctuary Birdday Party is just the ticket to inspire him or her. Call 636-225-4390 extension 101 to book your BIRDDAY PARTY
Written by Michael Zeloski, Director of Education World Bird Sanctuary.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The White-tailed Sea Eagle is the reigning king of the skies in northern Europe and Asia.
As the largest European raptor, they are an apex hunter (top of the food chain). They can be found soaring along the coast at heights of 200 - 300 meters looking for prey (typically fish) in calm waters. They also possess, on average, one of the greatest wingspans among eagles at 1.78 to 2.45 meters (8.04 feet) and rival only the Stellar’s Sea Eagle for the title of greatest wingspan! The Stellar’s Sea Eagle although larger in weight and length is the closest rival for median wingspan at 1.95 to 2.5 meters (6.4 to 8.2 feet) amongst living eagles. A Bald Eagle by comparison has a wingspan of 5.8 to 7.5 feet.
A Norway White-tailed Sea Eagle stretching its broad wings in flight!
The White-tailed Sea Eagle has longed been admired for its size and majesty among early European societies. The Gaelic name, iolaire suile nag rein, translates as “eagle with the sunlit eye” inspires a sense of fantasy and awe. The name may reflect the White-tailed Sea Eagle’s very prominent pale yellow eyes.
On the Orkney Isles, an archipelago north of Scotland, a 3000-year-old tomb was found in the 1950’s with bones belonging to the White-tailed Sea Eagle species scattered among human remains. While the exact purpose of the Sea Eagle bones hasn’t been determined, researchers speculate that they are religiously important or a clan’s symbolic sign. In some places in Scotland some people would actually leave their dead out in the open to be scavenged by eagles before burying the bones.
Fishermen of the Shetland Islands, farther north than the Orkney Isles, still refer to the White-tailed Sea Eagle by its Anglo-Saxon name, Erne or “the soarer”. Centuries back, fishermen believed the White-tailed Sea Eagle had magical abilities to call fish up to the surface with belly up in submission for a successful catch! In hopes of improving catches, fishermen would rub eagle fat on their hooks.
Unfortunately, the White-tailed Sea Eagle has been extirpated in the British Isles since the early 1900’s due to persecution and loss of habitat. The last Sea Eagle in the British Isles, also a rare albino, lived on the Shetland Isles and was protected for thirty years by the island’s inhabitants. Sadly, this beautiful bird was shot in 1917, officially making the White-tailed Sea Eagle extinct in the UK. (Extirpation refers to a species which ceases to exist in a chosen geographic area of study, though it still exists elsewhere. Local extinctions may be followed by a replacement of the species taken from other locations as is the case for the White-tailed Sea Eagle.)
In the last decade or so, reintroduction efforts have seen the slow return of the White-tailed Sea Eagle to the shores of Scotland, and more recently Ireland. Chicks from thriving Sea Eagle populations in Norway were raised and then released to establish their own territories and mates.
Cousteau, WBS's White-tailed Sea Eagle (photo: Jessica Bunke)
If you wish to meet this bird of legend, come to the World Bird Sanctuary to meet the White-tailed Sea Eagle’s ambassador--Cousteau. He lives on the WBS display line year round for the public to see. Often times, you’ll see and hear him calling out with a loud keening greeting.
Cousteau is available for adoption in our Adopt A Bird program. Your adoption fee will help to feed, house and care for Cousteau in the coming year.
Submitted by Jessica Bunke, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Trainer
Friday, July 11, 2014
I am so excited to tell you all about the following bird and her family! The first time I saw a bird like this, I thought, “That’s the wrong color.”
I am going to share with you all about a special type of turkey (yes a turkey!) that has been becoming more and more popular with our visitors. They are very beautiful birds that also have a cute-ugly factor to them. In this article I will discuss the natural history and some personal facts about this species.
Fred (pictured above) is a fine example of a male Royal Palm Turkey (photo: Gay Schroer)
The bird’s name is Wilma and she is a Royal Palm Turkey. These turkeys originate from the wild turkey (Melegris gallopavo) and other turkeys I will mention later on. These are a very special breed of turkey because of their plumage (feather color). They are mostly white with black edging on the body, wing, and tail feathers. These turkeys are not normally raised for food, but for exhibition (for show, either on personal farm property or for professional showing).
Wilma was donated to the World Bird Sanctuary by Cathy E., one of our awesome volunteers! Wilma is three years old this year and has become a mother! She and her mate, Fred, are parents of seven adorable little chicks this year! Below you can see the entire family!
Fred, Wilma & chicks (photo: Lisbeth Hodges)
These unique turkeys are native to North America. The first Royal Palms to be discovered were in the 1920s at the farm of Enoch Carson of Lake Worth, Florida. They were in a mixed flock with Black, Bronze, Wild, and Narragansett turkeys. This type of coloration only appears in a small percentage from breeding different types of turkeys together.
The females weigh from 10-12 pounds (4536-5443 grams) while males range from 16-22 pounds (7257-9979 grams). Their diet consists of mainly grain, but they will also eat insects and vegetation when they encounter it in the wild.
Royal Palms are great foragers and very active (especially during breeding season). The females will lay anywhere from five to nine eggs per clutch (group of eggs). The eggs are large, cream to light brown, with spots present. The female will protect the eggs and chicks more often than the male. Below you can see Wilma sitting down with all the two week old chicks under her. One, more adventurous than the others, is exploring around her.
Wilma is a shy bird around people, but she is a great mother who is always aware of her surroundings. She is very gentle with her chicks.
Wilma, covering her chicks--all but the one adventurer! (photo: Lisbeth Hodges)
Wilma is available for adoption in our Adopt a Bird program. To find out more information, call 636-861-3225. All adoption donations are tax deductible. She can be seen on the Exhibit Line, which is beyond the Kathryn G. Favre Wildlife Hospital. The World Bird Sanctuary is open daily from 8am-5pm.
Wilma is a very beautiful bird. You should stop on by and see her and her family!
Submitted by Lisbeth Hodges, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Date: Saturday, July 12
Time: 10am – 2pm
Venue: Inside the Missouri History Museum
Enjoy fun activities:
· Visit the World Bird Sanctuary booth and come face-to-face with a variety of birds.
Test your senses as you explore the Saint Louis Science Center's mystery boxes. PLUS, have your face painted by Impish Grin Face Art, meet Elsa from Disney's "Frozen," make crafts, play games and enjoy activities from our sponsors and much more! For more information visit www.stlsprout.com
· Join American Girl for a fun, interactive craft!
· Treat patients at the Teddy Bear Hospital, courtesy of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center
· Learn about geology from Trout Lodge Program Director, Babs.
· Show Dance St. Louis your best dance move and receive a ticket discount coupon. Plus enter to win tickets to a Dance St. Louis show of your choice.
· Learn about different cultures of the world with fun interactive activities from AuPairCare.
· Back by popular demand: Make ooey, gooey slime with Mad Science of St. Louis.
· Participate in a few "gross" health activities from Delta Dental Health Theatre while learning about bodily functions and dental health, nutrition and exercise.
· Register to win Disney On Ice and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tickets.
· Pick up giveaways from Disney's "Planes: Fire and Rescue," in theaters July 18.
· Stop by the Kiddie Academy booth for a free balloon creation.
· "Adopt" a shelter pet from the Humane Society of Missouri (a $5 donation is suggested for children who would like to take a stuffed pet home).
· Watch a Mars rover activity, learn what astronauts eat in space and receive a straw rocket take-home activity from Challenger Learning Center.
· Play with Legos with Bricks 4 Kidz.
· Watch a demonstration, then make paper lotus flowers, and practice the art of Chinese meditation.
Test your senses as you explore the Saint Louis Science Center's mystery boxes. PLUS, have your face painted by Impish Grin Face Art, meet Elsa from Disney's "Frozen," make crafts, play games and enjoy activities from our sponsors and much more! For more information visit www.stlsprout.com