Friday, October 31, 2008

Utterly Horrifying Beak of the Week!

Lindsay from IN, you were right: last week's beak was an owl. Victoria in CO you were EXTRA correct: he is a screech owl. Awesome guessing!

This week's beak is the most chilling, bizarre, scary, weird, and nightmarish beak in the world, if you are a North American mouse. I'd stay indoors at night if I new this monstrosity was lurking about!



Scream and run away!

Fortunately I am a human and not on this beak's menu. Bad luck, horrible guessing, and Happy Halloween!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frighteningly adorable

Yes, you guessed it...Niles! If I could go as anybody for Halloween, it would be Niles. He even wears Halloweeny colors.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Halloween Goblin

When you visit the World Bird Sanctuary, be sure to look for Goblin, our frighteningly adorable barn owl!

Here you see Goblin doing his best Dracula impression!

Are you scared yet?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I thought it might be nice to pay a visit to our fruit bats this week in honor of Halloween! Batty and Scar are anything but scary, but they do love their treats!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christmas Is For The Birds!!!!



DECEMBER 6, 2008
9 AM - 3 PM



It's that time of year again--and Christmas For the Birds is just around the corner!
Possibly the most unique Santa event in the area!!

Start out at our Visitor Information Center at the top of the hill. Since you are already registered, there will be no long lines.
Each child get his/her photo with our special "wilderness" Santa who holds a live raptor!

Even mom and dad can get into the act for a unique family photo for your Christmas card! Only $5.00 extra for a photo CD.

While photos are being taken the little ones are treated to cookies and a beverage while watching a few others being photographed. (This helps the shy ones get used to the idea.)

Once photographs are taken participants proceed to our Nature Center where you will be entertained by our talented staff and amazing birds! You and your child will be delighted by the flights and antics of our performing birds, enjoy a storytelling session by one of our staff and learn some sing-along songs performed by one of our talented musicians. Your child will also have the opportunity to make a Christmas craft with the help of our staff.

(Includes photo, cookies & milk, craft materials and all programs)

REGISTRATION DISCOUNT DEADLINE is 11/30/08 (Per child cost AFTER 12/1 is $25.00)



After the program all participants are welcome to view and/or meet some of the other residents of our Nature Center. Those guests who enjoy the outdoor experience might like to stroll the path beyond the animal hospital to meet some of our year round residents who are on display for visitors.

Remember--admission to our site is always free and we are open 363 per year weather permitting (Closed Christmas Day and Thanksgiving).

Written and photographed by Gay Schroer.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Open House Rocked!

Open House is somewhat like a wedding--one that you have every year! It's a year of work, planning and effort on the part of staff, interns and volunteers...and then it's over in a flash! This year's event was a great success! We estimate that approximately 3,000 people attended this year's festivities, and from the feedback we're getting, a great time was had by all.

This year's performances featured our flying ambassadors--the birds!!

As well as our "Creatures of Halloween" show, highlighting those animals usually associated with everyone's favorite Spooktacular holiday
And we closed the festivities each day with a performance by our fabulous in-house musical group, "The Raptor Project"

In between performances, guests took advantage of the once a year opportunity to have their photo taken HOLDING our magnificent Eurasian Eagle Owl - Xena!

Those of our guests who adopted Xena (on these two days only) will be receiving an 8 X 10 portait of themselves holding this gorgeous raptor.

As you can see from this photo, it's never too early to foster a love of wildlife in our children

Other guests enjoyed roaming our grounds to view the other animal exhibits, and took advantage of the rare opportunity to see the "behind the scenes" areas where we breed and train our animals.

Youngsters (and some adults) joined the festivities by having their faces painted

and meeting our Eagle mascot

Other actvities were: Sing-Alongs, Storytelling, Kid's crafts, Animal Hospital Tours, and many other activities too numerous to mention

Our thanks to all staff, interns and volunteers who helped to make this 2-day event such a great success

...and ESPECIALLY to our guests, without whom this event would not be possible.

Proceeds from Open House and other such events make it possible for us to feed, house and care for the animals in our charge, and to educate the public about environmental issues that affect us all. Mark your calendars for the third weekend of October next year and be sure to join us when we do it all over again!

This post was written and photographed by Gay Schroer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Niles speaks!

At least until he realizes the paparazzi is filming...

I love the songs of Niles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Beak of the Week!

Yay Victoria! Thanks for guessing last week's beak, the bateleur eagle! That is one beautiful beak, for sure.

This week's beak is teensy, but with big appeal. Its owner is native to the U.S. and weighs in at a miniscule 7-9 ounces.

These feet come out at night to snatch a tasty mouse:

The bird behind these eyes is one of the fiercest predators in North America:
You talkin' to me?

Good luck guessing. I'll be back on Halloween to reveal the identity of this frightening bird!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adopt A Bird spotlight: Edgar (Peregrine Falcon)

Edgar's Story

Species: Peregrine Falcon
Hatched: 1999

Edgar was a wild hatched peregrine falcon. His grandfather was the first wild hatched chick in Missouri in over 100 years. Edgar was injured on one of his fledgling flights from the nest atop the Chase Park Plaza Building, and suffered a broken coricoid (similar to a human collar bone). Once his injuries were repaired it was hoped that he could again be released into the wild. However, it was soon apparent that even though he could fly, his banking and diving abilities were limited by his injury and he would probably not be able to catch enough prey to survive on his own.

Generally, Edgar is a very quiet bird, however, in the morning he shakes with excitement when he knows it is time to go to his station in the weathering area. One of his favorite activities is taking a bath--especially in the rain. After many years of travelling and performing in education programs, he is now a member of the Office of Wildlife Learning and can usually be seen in the weathering area behind the Visitor Information Center. Edgar is the darker of the two Peregrine Falcons on display.

To adopt Edgar, simply click our donation button, make a donation of $100, and specify in your payment notes: Adopt-a-bird: EDGAR. Also include your name, phone number, and mailing address so that we can send you your adoption materials!

Every donation helps to feed, house, and provide medical care for the bird of your choice! Adopt-A-Bird Parents Receive:

  • *A personal visit with the bird you adopt!!!!! Call 636-861-3225 to set up a time for
  • your personal visit.
  • * Certificate of Adoption
  • * Color photo of the bird you've adopted
  • * Sponsorship Card
  • * One year's subscription to Mews News (our quarterly newsletter)
  • * Life History and Natural History of the bird
  • * 10% Discount off WBS merchandise
  • * Invitation to Sponsors-only events like Camera Day
  • * Discounts on WBS Special Events
  • * WBS Decal

Natural History

peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus

Description: large falcon; short tail; pointed wing tips; slate-gray above; black helmet on head; whitish neck; buff beneath; lightly barred breast; wing tips almost reach tail tip when perched; regional variations exist (very dark in the northwest to pale in the north

Sex: females have more brown than males

Age: juveniles are a dark buff color with heavy streaking underneath

Length: 16-20”

Wingspan: 3-3.7’

Weight: 1.6 lbs.

Habitat: open country, cliffs, cities

Status: once found across all of North America until pesticides such as DDT eliminated eastern populations, almost to extinction; pesticide banning and captive-breeding programs have helped with their recovery; seen year-round in the US, but uncommon to rare in the winter

Behavior: don’t build nests; lay 2-4 reddish, darker flecked eggs in cliff hollows; bare rocky outcrops, bridges or tall building ledges; 28 day incubation period by both parents; chicks leave the nest at 5-6 weeks; hunts by flying very fast and making dramatic swoops to catch prey in midair

Diet: small birds, large insects, small mammals

Vocalization: rapid “kek kek kek kek”, repeated “we chew” at nest

√ World Bird Sanctuary’s reintroduction program put over 300 peregrines back into Missouri’s wild

√ Peregrines are the fastest animals on earth and have been clocked diving at 287 mph

√ Three subspecies exist: pacific (Peale’s), tundra and the interior west

Adopt A Bird spotlights are written and photographed by Gay Schroer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Rodney!

Rodney the amazon shows off his talents with the help of his trainer, Susan:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Open House!

In honor of our Open House Weekend celebration, I'm re-posting our invitation. Put down that blog and come visit us for real!Directions: Hwy 141 to the North Outer Road west (the ramp is immediately north of I-44!) Turn left toward Lone Elk County Park. Travel three miles. WBS' front gate will be on your right.



OCTOBER 18 & 19
10 AM - 4 PM

The weekend everbody waits for all year has finally arrived and admission is FREE!

Come join us for a unique wildlife experience!

Performances by our amazing birds of prey in flight


BRING YOUR CAMERAS! Don't want to lug along the camera? There will be a Photo Op for those guests who would like to purchase a photo of themselves holding one of our birds!

Crafts and games for the kids, a children's petting area, and interactive performances, Sing Alongs, and Story Telling by our talented staff and volunteers for the youngsters.

Meet some of the rarest birds on the planet up close and personal -- from the smallest --- to the largest.

Meet our ravens - who know how to recycle and how to take donations.

Enjoy educational and entertaining presentations by our naturalists, who are more than willing to answer any questions.

Take advantage of this opportunity to do some Christmas shopping in our gift shop. Have a conversation with one of the many talented talking birds on display in our Gift Shop area.

Take this rare opportunity to tour our seldom seen "Behind the scenes" area. There will be a shuttle - or for those hikers among us, this area may be reached by a short walk through the woods on our nature trail. "Behind the Scenes" is open to the public ONLY on this one weekend. See where our breeding pairs live and where we train our performing avian ambassadors. Also, see our young Andean Condor who was hatched here in our breeding area.

Walk the short trail in our upper area and see our avian hospital where injured birds are treated. Continue along this path to view many of the seldom seen species that we house and care for every day. The birds in these enclosures are unreleasable, mostly due to injury or habituation, and will live out their lives in our safe secure environment while helping to educate thousands of people every year. View our free flying flock of Thickbill Parrots. All exhibits are Handicapped Accessible.

Come visit with us this weekend for a unique outdoor experience! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as most paths are not paved. Please remember--FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR GUESTS AND OUR BIRDS - NO PETS ALLOWED!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beak of the Week!

Hey Kelsey, way to go! I'm glad you pitched in this week because the Egyptian vulture is a tough bird to identify. And congrats for getting to spend the summer with Osiris. She's awesome.

This week's beak may be difficult at first, but once you've seen one, you never forget it:

The feet and facial color of this bird can vary from a pale color to brilliant red, depending on the mood of the bird:

These eyes belong to a bird that got its name from its amazing aerial displays:

Still haven't guessed? Hint: the native name of this bird is Chapungu.

Good luck and happy guessing!