Friday, November 28, 2008

Only a Few Days Left!!!

Just a reminder that there are only a few days left to sign your little one up for our Christmas Is For The Birds program.  If you've been looking to see what other options are out there, wait no more.  This is the most unique children's Christmas program you will find!!  However, time is getting short .  For more detailed information, just click on the photo to enlarge.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fred and all his friends at The World Bird Sanctuary wish you and all your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving! 

On a personal level he wants everyone to know - HAM IS GOOD!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adopt A Bird Spotlight: Fred the Turkey (Royal Palm Turkey)

Fred's Story

Species:  Royal Palm Turkey
Hatched:  Spring 2006

Fred the Turkey (not to be confused with Fred our Hooded Vulture) was rescued as an egg by one of our staff members.  Another organization had a surplus of turkey eggs, and Fred's was to be discarded.  The egg was incubated here at the World Bird Sanctuary and, after hatching, Fred was hand raised by his rescuer.

It so happened that the staff member who rescued Fred is one of the talented founders of The World Bird Sanctuary's musical group, "The Raptor Project".  This multi-talented group writes, produces, and performs original songs about the amazing creatures they work with every day.  One of their most popular songs, which is featured on the recently released "Save the Future" CD, is "A Turkey Named Fred".  Our real live Fred has become a mascot for this talented group, and has appeared onstage at our annual concert series, which takes place every Thursday evening during the month of August.

In addition to his appearances at Birds in Concert, Fred has also appeared on one of our local television stations for a Thanksgiving promo.  However, not to worry--all the literature tells us that Royal Palm Turkeys are not bred for the table.  They are usually kept for their feathers, and as small farm pets because of their bug catching abilities.

Fred is usually pretty good natured for a Tom, but can be aggressive toward people he perceives as a threat--such as keepers who must catch him up to weigh him and give him shots.

Your adoption donation will help to keep Fred strutting his stuff in the coming year.  To adopt Fred call 636-225-4390.  The adoption donation for Fred is $100.00.

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

Royal Palm Turkey

Description:  attractive, small sized turkey; white with sharply contrasting metallic black edging on the feathers; saddle is black and tail is pure white with each feather having a band of black and an edge of white; coverts are white with a bank of black; wings are white with narrow edge of black on each feather; breast is white with exposed portion of each feather ending in a band of black to form a contrast of black and white similar to the scales of a fish; shanks and toes are deep pink; eyes are brown; beards are black; heads are red to bluish white; red to bluish white wattles; first known bird in America to have this color pattern appeared in a mixed flock in Lake Worth, Florida, in 1920

Sex:  hens considerably smaller than Toms, and do not have the beard, display feathers, or large loose wattles of the Toms

Weight:  Toms - 22 lbs; Hens - 12 lbs.

Habitat:  This is a domesticated farm animal

Status:  considered a heritage turkey breed; The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy categorizes them as critical on it's watchlist, and in danger of extinction

Behavior:  usually kept as a flock of one Tom to several hens; hens will lay one egg every other day from March through August or September if eggs are collected daily; if they have a full nest they will begin to brood

Vocalization:  Toms will gobble to attract a hen; hens have a variety of low clucking calls

» Some hens will have beards, but they do not usually develop until the second year

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meet Fred the Turkey

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday we wanted to introduce you to one of our celebrities, Fred the Turkey. 

Fred's star has been rising fast since the release of our in-house band's "Save the Future" CD.  This entertaining and educational children's CD was created and is performed by our talented "Raptor Project" band.  By far one of the favorite songs on the CD is "A Turkey Named Fred", which accounts for the meteoric rise of Fred's popularity.  

Of course, there are other species featured on the CD, such as "The Vulture Song", "The Owl Song", "Don't Be a Dodo", "The Raven Song", and "Hawk of the Highway" to name just a few.  However, Fred's not worried.  He's convinced that a bird with his magnificent presence can stave off the competition.

 Just to be on the safe side, though, he's keeping a low profile until after this Thursday!

If you'd like to hear about Fred and his competition, copies of the CD can be purchased in our Raptique Gift Shop.  What a great gift for the little ones on your Christmas list!  Pssst!  I'll let you in on a little known secret.  The big kids will like it too!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good-bye Old Friend

Some of you may know by now that we have recently lost our dear little Thick Billed Parrot, Quasi.  He will be missed by staff and visitors alike, especially the children.  His happy go lucky personality seemed to draw the children like a magnet, and they loved the fact that they could usually get him to talk to them.

Following is the email notice sent to staff, volunteers and interns by our Director of Education, Teri Schroer:

"It is with a sad heart that I am writing today to let you know that Quasi, our Thick Billed Parrot, passed away overnight Saturday night.  As many of you know, Quasi has always been a special needs parrot due to bone abnormalities he was hatched with.  Over the years he has battled sinus issues every winter, but this year they never seemed to go away.  Late this summer we realized that his sinuses were no longer draining and that they were clogged with granuloma.  With the help of Dr. Stacey Scheaffer we tried many different things to clear Quasi's sinuses to give him relief.  Throughout all of his many breathing treatments, nose drops, oral meds, x-rays, etc., Quasi was his typical sweet easy going self.  Unfortunately, last week his breathing became labored and over the course of the week he progressively became worse.  Dr. Stacey did an amazing job of researching what we could do for this little guy, but in the end it was to no avail.

"Quasi was an asset to our education programs, and will be sorely missed by everyone here at WBS."

Even though the above may sound like extreme and heroic measures for one small parrot, it is the type of care rendered to all of the animals at WBS when they are in distress.  If you would like to make a donation toward the medical care of our animals, just click on the donate button.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Beak of the Week!

There were good guesses for last week's beak, our adorable cockatiel, Romeo. Victoria in Colorado, congrats on being the first!

Native to South America, this beak might be seen in Bolivia, preparing its lunch by banging a lizard or rodent on the ground:

This eye gleams when it sees me bringing a favorite treat, the rat tail!

These skinny legs can run upwards of 43 MPH!

Good luck beak fans. I'll be back next week with the answer and another mystery beak!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The beak is back!

Beak Of The Week took a brief sabbatical last week, but here we are for another thrilling installment! That spooky Halloween beak was an owl, as Steve guessed, and a barred owl to be specific. Thanks for guessing Steve and great job!

This week's beak always makes me smile and seems to smile back. Some of you may recognize this little charmer from your own home:

The look of love:

These feet will walk a thousand miles for a sunflower seed or a peanut. Preferably both:

Good luck guessing this extra cute beak!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



Yes folks, it's that time of year when romance is in the air--at least if you're an owl!

We at the World Bird Sanctuary take advantage of our local owls' amorous yearnings to teach our guests some little known facts about these creatures of the night, and to have some fun while learning.

We'll start out the Owl Prowl experience in our Nature Center classroom where a Naturalist will introduce guests to some of these fascinating creatures. We will discuss many of the myths and legends associated with them, as well as some of the fascinating behaviors that make these creatures unique.

Following this "learning" session, we will venture out after dark along the paths on the Sanctuary grounds to try to "hoot up" some of the lovesick owls that inhabit the area.

Owl Prowls take place from November through February on the following dates:

November - 11/1, 11/7, 11/8, 11/15, 11/21, 11/22 & 11/29
December - 12/13, 12/19, 12/20 & 12/27
January - 1/2, 1/9, 1/10, 1/23 & 1/30
February - 2/6, 2/7, 2/13, 2/20, 2/21, 2/27 & 2/28

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Call 636-225-4390 Ext. 0.
Adults - $9.00
Children - $7.00

Sessions start at 7 p.m. and last approximately 1-1/2 hour

Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes as our paths are not paved.

Owl Prowl posts are written and photographed by Gay Schroer.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Niles loves his dogfood

As you can see in this video, Niles the African southern ground hornbill is better at catching the treats than I am at throwing them. We are working on my skills.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Adopt a Bird Spotlight: Acorn (Eastern Screech Owl)

Acorn's Story

Species: Eastern Screech Owl (Red Phase)
Hatched: 1995

Acorn is a real crowd pleaser. Whenever he comes on stage the comment is usually, "Isn't he cute!" but don't let his looks fool you. For their size, Eastern Screech Owls are among the feircest predators in nature.

Acorn is a verteran performer and has participated in presentations at Sea World Ohio near Cleveland among other venues. He is currently a favorite of the thousands of children who meet him in schools and auditoriums during one of our Raptor Awareness or Fur Feathers and Scales programs.

Your adoption fee will help to feed, house and care for Acorn in the coming year, so that he can continue to educate and entertain the future generation.

To adopt Acorn, simply click our donation button, make a donation of $50 and specify in your payment notes: Adopt-a-bird: ACORN. 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

eastern screech owl
Otus asio

Description smallest eared owl in the eastern US; color ranges from grey to brown to reddish, but considered to be found in 2 color phases; gray found mostly in the north; red found mostly in the south; plumage is an excellent example of cryptic camouflage; color pattern of plumage resembles the bark of the trees so closely they are nearly invisible when still; identified by ear tufts and textured coloration

Sex: no visible differences between male and female

Age: up to 13 years

Length: 7-10”

Wingspan: 18-24”

Weight: 5-9 oz.

Habitat: wood lots, heavily wooded regions in rural areas, wooded strips of residential areas

Status: populations currently stable due to it’s ability to adapt to residential areas; often falls victim to vehicle collisions

Range: United States east of the Rocky Mountains and into northeastern Mexico

Behavior: nests in natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes or man-made nest boxes; female lays 4-6 eggs that are incubated for 25-27 days; both parents feed the young; owlets leave the nest in about 4 weeks, but will be tended by the parents for another 5-6 weeks; can reproduce at 1 year of age

Diet: mainly insects, small mammals, birds, crayfish and earthworms

Vocalization: call is a long, high pitched, trilling call

√ have been known to visit backyard birdfeeders at night, where they hunt from a perched position then swoop down to catch the mice that come to feed on fallen seed

√ this bird is fond of bathing and has been known to visit backyard birdbaths at night

√ although small, this owl is fearless and has been known to dive at dogs, cats and even humans when defending it’s young

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