Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Overly Outstanding Owls


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. 
Cupid the Barn Owl steals everyone's heart
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. 
Peabody the Tawny Owl waiting for his cue to fly onstage (photo: Mike Cerutti)
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. 
Don't let Tigger's sleepy demeanor fool you--Tawny Owls can be fierce
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!

Submitted by Jamie Cobetto, World Bird Sanctuary Stone Zoo Birds of Prey Show Trainer/Naturalist

(photo: Flannery O'brien)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Staff Spotlight: Jessica Bunke


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

The Bluebird of Happiness


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

The American Woodcock (a.k.a. Timberdoodle)


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

Volunteer Spotlight: Matt Levin


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

Birdlore: White-tailed Sea Eagle, the Eagle with the Sunlit Eye


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

The Flintstone Chick



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

Sprout & About 2014 Is Here!


Date:                Saturday, July 12
Time:               10am – 2pm
Venue:             Inside the Missouri History Museum
Admission:    FREE

Enjoy fun activities:
·       Visit the World Bird Sanctuary  booth and come face-to-face with a variety of birds.


·       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     


Monday, July 7, 2014

Really Weird Birds: Long-wattled Umbrella Bird


The Long-wattled Umbrellabird is native to the rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador.  They live in the canopies of tall trees.

There are three species of umbrellabirds, but this one is by far the oddest.  First of all, they have long hair-like feathers forming a crest on their head extending over the beak.  This crest is much more pronounced in males than females.  Also more pronounced in males is the wattle – defined as a fleshy growth hanging from various parts of the head or neck in some birds and mammals.  Wattles are often decorations for attracting potential mates.  Larger wattles seem to be correlated to healthier males – more testosterone, good nutrition and the capability to evade predators.
Chicken wattles hang from the throat. (Photo by Sara Oliver) 
The Long-wattled Umbrellabird’s name says it all.  This bird is about the size of an American crow, with a body length of 14 to 20 inches, and the males possess a wattle that can be as long as 18 inches!  It just hangs down from the base of the throat and is covered with short scaly feathers.  When in flight, the male can retract the wattle, making it shorter and then lays it against the chest.  During courtship rituals, the male will also inflate his wattle.  The wattle then resembles a very bristly pinecone.

Click here to see a video of a long-wattled umbrellabird.  At about 0:23 in the video, you can see him inflate his wattle!

Illustration of a long-wattled umbrellabird. (photo: The Wikipedia files)

This Wikipedia picture does not do this bird justice; click here to see a photo from zoochat.com.

These birds are mostly silent; however mainly the male will make grunting noises and low frequency booming calls during breeding season.  This boom call is audible to humans a bit more than half a mile away.  These birds form small leks where males come together and engage in competitive displays in hopes of enticing viewing females with their long poofy wattles.  After mating, the female is the sole builder and caretaker of the nest and chicks.  This species consumes mostly insects, fruits and palm nuts.

The Long-wattled Umbrellabird is listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat destruction and over hunting.  Their habitat is disappearing rapidly due to human development.  These birds are also captured by locals and sold as pets.  Only a few of the populations live within protected areas.


Submitted by Sara Oliver, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Test Flight


As a volunteer photographer for the World Bird Sanctuary I have been asked to be on site to photograph many programs, activities and events over the last 15 years.  Undoubtedly one of the most unique photo ops occurred this June.

I received a call from WBS Director Jeff Meshach asking if I would be interested in photographing a test flight for a new product called Birdzoff, which was being developed by a gentleman named Gordy Sabine from California.  He was coming all the way to St. Louis specifically to have his product tested by an eagle.

His invention had been designed to keep birds from perching on the tops of tall fence posts—initially to deter the smaller birds that perch on the tops of lights and tall fence poles surrounding tennis courts—which creates a messy clean-up job on the courts. 

When these proved effective for his intended purpose on the smaller birds, he began thinking of other possible applications, such as a bird deterrent to keep larger birds and raptors from perching on electrical poles.  These poles are an irresistible perch for the larger birds, from which they hunt and rest.  However, this not only poses a threat to the birds, but is also a cause for major power outages when the birds inadvertently make contact with one of the high power lines.

Before approaching WBS about doing an eagle test flight Gordy had already tested the product with smaller raptors such as hawks, falcons and owls.  Now it was time to test with the ultimate raptor—an eagle!  However, where do you find an eagle willing to fly to and attempt to land on the device? 

After some research Gordy found out about the World Bird Sanctuary, and called our director, Jeff Meshach, to see if it was possible to set up a test with a live eagle.  After discussing what was needed it was agreed that we would try it, but that there would be no more than two flights—since we did not want to teach one of our birds trained to land on a perch…NOT to land on a perch. 

We met at the WBS amphitheater early one morning to set up the test.  Buford proved to be the perfect eagle for this test since he had been trained to fly to a perch for WBS’s zoo show at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Test Flight 1 - eyes on the prize, Buford comes in for a landing (photo: Gay Schroer)
Test flight 1 - Surprise! He can't land! (photo: Gay Schroer)
Test Flight 1: Unable to land, Buford flies on & returns to his trainer (photo: Gay Schroer)
We all waited with bated breath and cameras ready as Buford, with eyes trained on the mouse morsel sitting on the Birdzoff device, took off from trainer Roger Wallace’s glove.  As he attempted to land in order to snatch the waiting mouse the Birdzoff device tipped, thwarting Buford’s attempt to land.  SUCCESS!

We agreed to try the second flight just to make sure.  This time Buford had a plan!  As he approached the mouse sitting temptingly atop the Birdzoff device he slowed, hovered, and snatched the mouse as his feet hit the target—which immediately tilted, forcing him to veer off.  SUCCESS AGAIN—both for Gordy and for Buford!
Flight 2 - Again - Eyes on the prize-he's determined to get that mouse! (photo: Gay Schroer)
Flight 2 - After only one try, he knows he can't land, but has another strategy (photo: Gay Schroer)
Flight 2 - He grabs the mouse in mid flight and flies on! (photo: Gay Schroer)
We were all elated—Gordy, because his device had been proven; WBS staff because Buford had performed perfectly; and Buford, because he had managed to secure his treat.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary volunteer/photographer 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

WINGS


Following is a poem about some of our resident birds by Marge Biermann, a very talented friend of World Bird Sanctuary.

WINGS

As night is falling our feathered friends are awake.
They keep each other company, each for the others’ sake.
Everyone has a problem special just to him,
That suddenly turned his life from free to grim.
Frazzle, an Eastern Screech Owl
Poor little Frazzle lost an eye, which hampers his flying,
But Sanctuary friends saved him from actually dying.
Now he’s an Educator for children large and small,
Proving that even with a handicap an owl can stand tall.
Injury need not stop a mighty life quest,
Not as long as you have help and do your very best.
Farfel, an Eastern Screech Owl
Then there’s little Farfel….his wings are not quite right,
So he can only manage a very short flight.
But he flies every day in his little heart,
And by greeting at the Sanctuary he does his part.
Farnsworth, a Common Barn Owl
I must mention distinguished Farnsworth, so white of face,
Who serves as a Sanctuary ambassador with style and grace,
And he is so easy in any “Owl Crowd” to spot,
With a bit of white on his forehead….just a tiny dot.
Hatched at the Sanctuary he knows his way about.
You’ll find him where all the Barn Owls “hang out”.
Jersey, a Barred Owl
We must speak of Jersey who had to diet.
Probably some of us should also try it!
Thus the name “Jersey” implying her a bit chunky,
But she’s a show “walk-on”….now really spunky!
Athena, a Common Barn Owl
The Barn Owl, Athena, is a super mother,
Having produced more eggs than any other.
She prefers to live in quiet seclusion,
Yet have a space to fly without intrusion.
The Sanctuary gives her that, but keeps a watchful eye
With an “Owl Cam” mounted way up high.
Peabody, a Tawny Owl
If you’re looking for Peabody just look to the sky,
Because this Tawny Owl really loves to fly.
Two thousand twelve was his first flying season.
Now he’s ready to go anytime, for whatever reason.
Aspen, a Saw-whet Owl
In April we bid “Farewell” to Aspen, a lovely little flower.
We cared for him and nursed him through his final hour.
The lesson he taught us was, indeed, so great,
“Serve when and wherever, no matter your fate.”

These birds can survive with help from friends like you,
Who give the assistance needed to see them through.
Man interacting with Nature’s winged creatures….
Often we wonder who are the students and who the teachers.

Almost all the owls mentioned can be seen at World Bird Sanctuary on a daily basis.  Come over and check them out! 

Poetry submitted by Marge Biermann, Guest Author
All photos by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer/Photographerhttp://www.worldbirdsanctuary.org/

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Join World Bird Sanctuary at the 2014 Sprout Celebration!



Date:                Saturday, July 12
Time:               10am – 2pm
Venue:             Inside the Missouri History Museum
Admission:    FREE

Enjoy fun activities:
·       Visit the World Bird Sanctuary  booth and come face-to-face with a variety of birds.

·       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