Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Step Coming Soon!

With Open House just around the corner, we are getting ready to install another new inscribed brick step leading to our amphitheater!

We want to thank all the friends of the World Bird Sanctuary who have purchased an inscribed brick to memorialize their loved ones, celebrate a special occasion, or to state their dedication to helping the environment.

Look for your brick when visiting.  If you haven't purchased one yet, please remember us when the next occasion arises.

To order a brick click on the link on the right hand sidebar on this page.  Our bricks are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary volunteer

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Special Brand of Insanity

Have you ever been on vacation with someone whose passion is nature photography?
A photographer's spouse becomes very adept at finding roadside pullouts - Rialto Beach - Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Ask anyone who is wed to a wildlife photographer, and they will tell you that while driving down the road there is a special brand of insanity that seizes their nature photographer spouse—especially while on vacation.
Aspens - Henry's Lake - Idaho
  I have to admit it—I’ve been severely afflicted!  We’ve trained our spouses to stop on a dime when we yell “STOP!” because we’ve spotted just the right stand of Aspen trees.  They’ve become very adept at gauging just how far they can go to get to a safe pullout spot before we completely lose it because the shot was “back there”—not a quarter of a mile down the road.  
A New Zealand Pigeon - one of the many places I have been seriously"stuck"  - Wenderholm NR, North Island, NZ
Photographers’ spouses deserve a special award for patience.  You see, one of the symptoms of this malady is that we get “stuck” while on a hike.  “Stuck”, is the   term my husband coined in New Zealand to describe how a 20 minute hike can turn into 2 hours (or more).  It goes something like this:  Take 20 steps…stop and listen for the bird we hear singing loudly….take five minutes to find said bird in the treetops….Identify bird….take 30 or 40 photos of bird….walk about 10 steps….oops, this is a better angle….take 30 or 40 more photos….walk quickly to catch up with spouse, who by now has walked on….hear another bird (well, you get the picture).
Sometimes you just have to get into the right position - Yellowstone National Park 
Not only do photographers’ spouses need patience, but they need to develop a thick skin.  This comes in handy when the photographer is belly down in the sand (or dirt, or boardwalk) to get just the right angle for a shot.  The thick skin part kicks in when he begins to hear other people snickering at the sight of a grown woman in such a position.  
I don't know the lunatic lying in the middle of the boardwalk - Cape Flattery Trail, WA
Of course, if he’s lived with the photographer’s idiosyncrasies for a very long time, he’s probably perfected the fine art of nonchalantly walking on and pretending he doesn’t know the lunatic lying in the middle of the hiking trail or boardwalk.
  To get a really good shot you have to photograph from the subject's eye level if possible - Francis Biedler Forest, South Carolina
The other prerequisite for a photographer’s spouse is a knowledge of first aid.  This point was driven home to me this summer in Yellowstone.  Each day as we made our way from Montana to the West Yellowstone entrance of the park we spotted a lone Trumpeter Swan at a distance, always in the same place in the river that parallels the road.  Perhaps it had claimed this bend of the river as it’s territory—or perhaps it had a mate and a nest nearby, but whatever the reason it was always in the same area.  There was no safe pullout point on this road near where the Swan was seen, so we passed it five times without stopping.  As we were leaving the park for the last time I just couldn’t stand it any more.  I told my husband that if the bird was there again he needed to stop at the nearest pullout point and I would hike back to get a photo.  I knew I could do this without invading the bird's comfort zone since I had a newly purchased long lens and had been scoping out the terrain as we passed it each time.

My long-suffering spouse dutifully stopped at the first safe spot, and I got out and began hiking down a narrow Bison trail that paralleled the river   As I passed two fly fishermen with my eyes firmly fixed on my quarry, carrying a camera and lens about the size of a mini bazooka (or so it seemed), I stepped in a hole and went sprawling face first into the Bison trail.  As the two fishermen came running to see if I was OK, they heard me babbling about whether my camera and lens were OK—never mind the blood dripping from the small cut on my forehead, the scratched glasses, or the rocks embedded in my palm.  After mentally calculating the date of my last tetanus shot I assured them that “….really I’m OK”, and “…No thank you I don’t need to be escorted back to my vehicle”, I again proceeded along the path in pursuit of the Swan, leaving the fishermen shaking their heads.  The Swan was still a very long distance away.  By the time I found a spot to take the photo, not only was I somewhat shaky from my fall, but the wind had picked up and was gusting enough that it made a steady shot almost impossible, but by now I was determined that even if it was a white blob I was going to get the photo.
Trumpeter Swan photo (such as it is)  - Gallatin River near West Yellowstone
Needless to say, I had a lot of ‘splainin to do (as Ricky Ricardo would have said in the old "I Love Lucy" TV show) when I appeared back at the vehicle in less that pristine condition to a chorus from my family of “What happened to YOU?”

If you enjoy wildlife photography, but would prefer to pursue it without resorting to the above mentioned antics, you can visit us at the World Bird Sanctuary 363 days of the year for much more easily obtained and close-up photos of our birds.  Your spouse will thank you.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Rookie Files: Black, Brown & Yellow

Warning: The following blog may contain an excessive use of puns.  Anyone sensitive to puns or fowl jokes should leave now…Ooops, too late!
Black, Brown & Yellow waiting to make their entrance
What’s black, brown and yellow, great at playing follow the leader, and Buddy the Double Yellow Headed Amazon’s best friend?  Our Chickens, aka Black, Brown and Yellow!  Yes these eggcellent little Bantam Cochin chickens are quite the crowd pleasers at WBS’s Milwaukee County Zoo bird show, not too bad for a trio of two year olds.

Black, Brown, and Yellow (yes those are their names) have been doing shows for their whole lives and each one has their own personality.  Black never bawks at a challenge and anytime she can jump on or squeeze under something for food, she’s all for it.  Brown is very quick at catching onto behaviors and does most of the egg laying in the group.  Yellow gets frightened easily and may appear to not understand a behavior right away, but she’s also the one who realized she didn’t have to follow us around the ETC, and that she could run back into the pen and wait for the food to return.  All three love to pile up together at night, and have recently discovered that fruit is tasty and not frightening.  Now we just have to introduce them to greens, which are a favorite of fellow Cochins Dumpling and Daisy.
Don't let that quizzical stare fool you--Brown is very quick to catch on!
Bantam Cochin chickens are a breed native to Asia, and many people keep them as pets.  After watching these three trail along after us I can certainly understand why.  They are great pest controls in gardens, eating unwanted insects with relish.  In fact they have specially adapted feathers that cover their feet (and look kind of like pantaloons) that help them to sense the vibrations of insects in the soil.  The Chickens are also prolific egg producers, usually laying one or two eggs every other day.  Not only do they produce fresh eggs, but they also produce some of nature’s very best organic fertilizer.  Best of all is the eggciting fact that chickens can be trained.
Close-up of a Bantam Cochin Chickens "feather duster" feet
Black, Brown and Yellow know a variety of behaviors.  They are great at following us between their indoor and outdoor pens at the zoo. Black and Brown can spin in circles on cue (in opposite directions) and Black will fly up to a trainer’s arm.  Last year, in the Milwaukee Count Zoo bird show, they had a fairly simple pattern.  They ran from one part of the stage, up a ramp, and back into their pen.  This year we are having a little more fun, although the basic A to B pattern is still there--we didn’t need to start from scratch after all.  In addition though, Black is also playing the role of our chicken hawk.  Imagine you are an unsuspecting child volunteer, waiting with arm outstretched to receive the chicken hawk you’ve been told is going to land on you.  Suddenly from out of nowhere there is a small black chicken on your arm eating grapes from the show speaker’s hand.  Pretty fowl right?  Black does an excellent job of surprising and then delighting children in shows while Brown and Yellow run around excitedly at their feet.  Then all three chickens run off the stage and back to their pen while the audience cracks up.
Black, our imposter chicken hawk, with Yellow looking on.
Many people love the Chickens, perhaps because they are small and run in an amusing waddling gallop.  Or maybe it’s because black jumps onto a child’s arm and the other two wait before all three leave.  For whatever reason, they are eggceptional people pleasers and definitely a lot of fun to work with and train. 


Submitted by Leah Tyndall

Thursday, September 23, 2010

August in Rehab

August has been a busy month in our wildlife hospital.

We have been working hard to save as many birds as possible.  We started the  month with three Great-horned Owls and two Red-tailed Hawks that were emaciated and starving.  They were most likely recent hatches that were finally having to hunt on their own and were no longer getting supplementary food from their parents.
 Emaciated Red-tailed Hawk admitted to rehab in August

Raptor parents do not teach their offspring how to hunt – hunting is an instinctual behavior triggered by the movement of prey near the raptor and hunger.  We keep them for a week or two to fatten them up and provide them with an 'energy buffer' so that they have some time to figure out the hunting thing once they have been released. 

We also received three Cooper's Hawks – all of which had flown into windows.  Two weren't that badly injured and could be released after a little rest and recuperation from concussion.  The third bird was more seriously injured and seemed to have a bruised spine or a broken pelvis.  Birds with injuries like this are slow to recover.  They need to be hand fed for a number of weeks and receive very intensive care as they slowly recover.  It is very rewarding to have a hawk that could not stand or eat start to eat on its own and fight back when we handle them for medicating or physical therapy.
 A Red-shouldered Hawk is released back to the Wild.
As always, we do everything we can to get each patient admitted to the hospital back out into the wild.  Sometimes everything we can do is not enough, and they do not survive.   But many do survive, and nothing beats the feeling we get when we watch one of our patients return to the wild,  flying strong.

Submitted by Joe Hoffmann, Sanctuary Manager, World Bird Sanctuary.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet Rustle, our Armadillo

Meet Rustle, one of the newest members of our staff!
Rustle is a nine-banded armadillo, the only one out of the twenty worldwide recognized species of armadillo found in the United States.  It is also the most abundant.  The other species can be found in Central and South America.  We obtained Rustle on July 5, 2010; he was about 6 months old and weighed 2 pounds, 6 ounces.  Male armadillos can reach up to 17 pounds, while females can reach up to 13 pounds.  Rustle is growing quite quickly; as of August 23rd, he weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces!  We are feeding him canned cat food, hard-boiled eggs, earthworms, and cooked yams.  In the wild these armadillos would forage for a variety of insects, insect larvae and other invertebrates like millipedes, centipedes, snails and earthworms.  They have also been observed eating some fruit, seeds and other vegetable matter in the wild as well as a few frogs, toads, salamanders, lizards, skinks, small snakes, and reptile and bird eggs.
  Rustle enjoying his gourmet meal of canned cat food, hard-boiled eggs, earthworms, and cooked yams--yumm!

Rustle’s armor, called a carapace, consists of scutes or bony plates connected by tough bands of skin.  Each scute overlaps slightly with the one before it and the entire shell appears to move like an accordion as Rustle walks.  This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outer part of the legs.  The ears, belly and inner part of the limbs are not covered by the armor, but have tough skin and some coarse hair.  Despite their name, nine-banded armadillos can have between 7 and 10 bands on their carapace.
  Close up of Rustle’s scutes

Nine-banded armadillos are generally nocturnal and spend most of their time foraging for food.  They have long, sharp claws which make them excellent diggers.  They also have been seen tearing bark off trees in search of insects.  Their tongues are sticky and rough to aid with their main diet of insects.  If alarmed, they often will leap vertically first and then run away with surprising speed to a nearby burrow they have dug.  Contrary to popular belief, this species of armadillo cannot roll up in a ball to protect itself.  They have very poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell and hearing.
 Close-up of Rustle’s powerful claws
 Here you can see Rustle's small eyes, long snout, large ears

These animals have been quickly expanding their range more north and east in the U.S.  They are becoming more established in Missouri and Kansas and are being seen in southern Nebraska, southern Illinois and southern Indiana and as far east as South Carolina.  Their western range seems to end in central New Mexico.  They range southward through Central and South America into Argentina and Uruguay.  They avoid extremes of wet and dry habitats.  They prefer sandy or clay soils for burrowing.  They can be found in a variety of habitats like pine forests, hardwood woodlands, grass prairies, salt marshes and coastal dunes.
  Sara holding Rustle, he was being quite squirmy!*

Rustle made his debut appearance at Birds in Concert.  Very soon Rustle will be brought to education programs at schools, libraries and at events where he will assist the World Bird Sanctuary in teaching children and adults about the animals that make up our earth!  If you can't wait until then, you can visit him at our Nature Center.  We are open from 8am – 5pm every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Submitted by Sara Oliver, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Training Lewis and Clark to Fly at the Stadium

Today I helped Roger Wallace train Lewis and Clark, two of WBS’s education Bald Eagles, to fly at Busch Stadium.   
Volunteer Daniel Cone, releasing Clark during an early Spring training session
We positioned Lewis and Clark’s crates above the grassy area directly behind center field.  Roger climbed down a ladder onto the field and walked over to the pitcher’s mound.  Daniel Cone opened Lewis’s crate, but Lewis did not fly out of it.  Sometimes they fly from their crates and sometimes they don’t.  So, Daniel had Lewis step onto his glove, and then Lewis flew right away.  Lewis made a couple of spectacular loops around the stadium before flying down to Roger’s glove. 
Clark, making a spot-on landing on Trainer Roger Wallace's glove
Next, I had a chance to release Lewis.  When Roger was ready, I opened the box to allow Lewis a chance to fly out, but as before, Lewis waited until he was on my glove to leave the release point.  Roger would like Lewis and Clark to fly at the same time on game day sometime in the future, so for training purposes Daniel held Clark on his glove as Lewis made another impressive flight.  Afterwards, I held Lewis on my glove so he could watch Clark make his breathtaking, no-nonsense flight.
 Lewis on creance line during one of our early Spring training sessions.  Later the line is removed so that they are free flying.
When we fly the eagles in tandem, there will obviously need to be two trainers on the field to receive them.  So, the next round of flights allowed the birds to get used to that.  As Daniel and Roger made their way back to the pitcher’s mound, I got Clark out of the crate and prepared to release him from my glove.  I tried to turn Clark away from the field, so he wouldn’t bate (try to fly too soon) before Roger and Daniel were in position, but Clark knew exactly what was going on.  He didn’t bate, but he turned his head almost all the way around and watched Roger walk.  When Roger stopped walking, Clark was more than ready to fly.  He flew like an arrow directly to Roger’s glove.
Clark, at an early training session, demonstrating the intensity with which an eagle zeroes in on a target.  
Finally, Roger let me go onto the field with him as Daniel released Lewis.  Roger told me not to give the cue, but to get ready in case Lewis decides to fly to me.  And sure enough, he did!  Lewis made a couple of loops, and then trained his eagle eyes directly on me and made his way over.  I got my glove under his talons, locked his jesses, and tossed him a mouse.  I tried to play it cool, but the whole experience was pretty overwhelming and I could not stop smiling!

Because of Roger’s expert and insightful training, Lewis and Clark rocked the stadium.

Submitted by Leah Sainz, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beating The Heat

While there are many things these days for people to disagree about, most of us can agree on one thing: it’s been ridiculously hot this summer.  

This weather has caused families across the region to come up with new and exciting ways to stay cool.  We naturalists at the Sanctuary have also had to keep a close watch on our birds, as well as ourselves, during our programs and displays.  How do birds stay cool, you might ask?  They use a variety of methods.
All of our birds have free access to water at all times--weather for drinking or bathing
One way is quite similar to humans—drink lots of water.  All of our birds have water bowls in their indoor and outdoor enclosures that they can drink from, as well as bathe in.  Birds of prey normally get the majority of the water they need from the blood in the meat they eat.   Like humans, though, more water is needed in hot weather.  
Chrys, our Long Crested Eagle, after a refreshing bath
Another familiar cooling method is to get in the pool!  Many of our birds love to be in the bath.  Water is very important for healthy feather condition at all times of year, but it becomes even more important in the hot summer months.  Birds lose heat through bare, unfeathered skin, especially the cere, (skin around the beak), legs, and feet.  When the wind blows on the bare wet skin, the bird’s temperature drops.  This is called evaporative cooling, and it’s the same reason we feel cooler after we get out of a pool. 

There is a group of birds that use evaporative cooling in a different (and ickier) way than others.  These are the New World vultures, or the species of vultures living in North, Central, and South America.  These guys have bare legs and feet, unlike their relatives living in Europe, Asia, and Africa who have feathered legs.  New World vultures will go to the bathroom down their legs.  What comes out is mostly liquid, so as the wind dries the waste, the vulture can cool off 10-12 degrees almost instantly.  Personally, I’m glad we have swimming pools instead, but to each their own!

One thing we humans have working to our advantage is the ability to sweat.  We may feel gross and sticky after being out in the heat, but we’d be in bad shape without sweating.  Birds can’t sweat because of their feathers.  Instead they have to pant, much like a dog would.  This action is usually the first sign of a bird cooling off. 

Lastly, many of our birds enjoy the bright sunshine and can be seen sunning on even the hottest days for a little while.  Birds get vitamin D from the sun just like us, and it is also very important for healthy feathers. 
Dewey, a Bateleur Eagle, demonstrating the amazing feather control that allows them to dissipate their body heat
Vultures and Eagles are most often seen sunning with their wings out to the sides like solar panels.  Some will even fluff their chest and belly feathers to catch the sun, but also release heat from in between them.  They can control movement of different groups of feathers, which is helpful for a variety of reasons. 
Skinner, one of our Turkey Vultures, demonstrating his sunbathing technique
Hawks often lay flat on the ground like a pancake, wings stretched as far as possible out to the sides.  This can freak people out before they know what the bird is doing; it looks a lot like something is wrong with the bird.  The winner of this contest, by far, is the Red-legged Seriema, a South American ground bird with long, orange legs.  When they sun, they roll on their sides, wings askew, and legs in the air.  Quite honestly, they look very dead and startle visitors all the time…especially when the “dead bird” pops up and looks curiously at them as they walk by!  If your timing is good, you might observe our Seriemas, Sara and Gomez, doing this behavior on our Display Line past the Wildlife Hospital.

Here at the Sanctuary, we have both indoor and outdoor exhibits, so when you visit, you can look for some of these “cool” behaviors by our birds, then come inside to chill out yourselves.  In the meantime, we’ll be here looking forward to Fall! 

Submitted by Dana Lambert, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wing Shape

As you observe the birds around you when you walk through the forest, sit in your yard, or visit the World Bird Sanctuary, you will notice that bird wings come in many shapes and sizes.
 Red-tailed Hawk in flight (photo by Gay Schroer)
You can tell a great deal about a bird’s lifestyle just by looking at the shape of its wings.  The variation in wing form is due to the different uses each bird species has for its wings.  Some birds need to soar for long periods of time.  Others need to use their wings for very rapid flight.  Still others need wings that allow for agility so they can evade predators or avoid running into trees.
  Turkey Vulture in flight (photo by Gay Schtoer)
The next time you are outside, see if you can spot one of the many turkey vultures found in our area.  You will notice that they flap their wings very rarely. Using very broad wings with long, slotted primaries, they can ride on the rising thermals.  That way, they will expend as little energy as possible as they search for carrion below.

Millenium, a Peregrin Falcon in her juvenile plumage - note how long and pointed her wings are (photo by Gay Schroer) 
In contrast, falcons can’t just cruise the region in search of ready-to-eat meat.  If a falcon had broad wings like a vulture, it would fly too slowly to catch its prey.  If a falcon wants to catch, for example, a pigeon, it needs long, narrow, pointed wings capable of high speed flight.  The peregrine falcon’s wing shape allows it to reach record dive speeds of 175 mph! 
  A wild Cooper's Hawk-note it's shorter rounded wing shape in contrast to the falcon's (photo by Cathy Spahn)
Raptors in the accipiter family, such as the sharp-shinned hawk and the Cooper’s hawk have short, rounded wings. Their wing shape gives them the agility they need to maneuver through their forest homes without flying into trees

Submitted by Leah Sainz, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bat Bombers

A while ago, I wrote a story about “Project Pigeon”, a top-secret aviation project to teach pigeons to be suicide bombers during WWII.  While I was researching it, I discovered another project that was just as fascinating.  This one involved bats.

In December of 1941, Dr. Lytle Adams was visiting Carlsbad Caverns, NM, when he heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  He cut short his vacation to head home, but couldn’t stop thinking about the impressive bat colonies he had just seen.  As he was getting ready to leave, he suddenly thought that if each of the millions of bats flying around had a tiny incendiary device attached to its body and then they were dropped from a plane… well, they could cause an awful lot of destruction.  Adams stopped at the caverns before he left and captured some of the Mexican free-tail bats that lived there.  He took them home and started to study them.  He was convinced that they could be used as bombers.

In January of 1942, he sent a proposal to the government for his project.  His letter was one of a very few that actually made it to President Roosevelt’s desk.  Roosevelt sent a memo to Colonel Donovan, the coordinator of information, with the note, ‘This man is not a nut.  It sounds like a perfectly wild idea but is worth looking into.’

In April of 1942, the work began.  It was decided that the free-tail bats were the best ones to work with, as they were very common, hardy and could carry a payload significantly higher than its own body weight.  Thousands of bats were captured for the project.  They were put into refrigerated trucks to force them into hibernation and taken back to study and be fit with their devices. 

The first bombs they tried were tiny – only 18 grams (.63 oz.), but they packed a punch.  They were called ‘baby incendiaries’ and had a time-delay igniter fuse.  This way, the bats could be released over the target area at night and the bombs wouldn’t go off until they had roosted for the day in buildings.  The bombs were attached to the bats by clipping them to the loose skin on the bat’s chest with a surgical clip and a piece of string.

The first tests in May of 1943 were unsuccessful.  The bats had been placed into refrigerators to force them to hibernate then placed in boxes and flown to their target area.  The boxes were dropped from 5,000 feet, but the bats hadn’t warmed up enough from their hibernation and they weren’t able to fly.            More test releases were done, but the bats either wouldn’t warm up fast enough to fly, or they would warm up too quickly and escape from the boxes.

In June of 1943, a report was written that requested more research into better release methods, a better bomb and better way to attach the bomb to the bats.  There was also a note that said their testing had stopped because of a fire that had destroyed most of the testing material.  The letter neglected to mention that a barracks, a control tower and other buildings had been set afire by their own bats that had escaped.

The project was dumped by the Army in August of 1943 and handed to the Navy.  The Navy gave it to the Marines and testing continued until August 1944 (during which time 30 more fires were started by the bats).  That August, the government refused to continue funding the 27-month, $2 million project – it was all over.

In those years, over 6,000 bats gave their lives for this country.  If you want to learn more, check out a great site
Visitors at the WBS Nature Center watching Batty & Scar
While we may not have trained our Straw-colored Fruit Bats, Batty and Scar, to be bat bombers, they do ‘hang around’ at our Nature Center, where you can visit them from 8am to 5pm daily.

Submitted by Laura MacLeod, World Bird Sanctuary Education Coordinator

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our Birds Meet the Klingons

What do owls, ravens, falcons, eagles, and hawks have to do with Klingons, Dungeons and Dragons, and Star Wars?  Clearly nothing.  Except that earlier this summer, our birds’ paths crossed with such other-worldly fare in Chicago, as they have once a year for the last five.

Confused yet?  Okay, enough being cryptic.  Duckon, an annual science fiction convention, blew through the Chicago suburbs June 17th-19th and we made our way north with A LOT of birds in tow.  Over the course of the weekend, our birds entertained several hundred people (and aliens?) in free-flight shows and rare up-close photo opportunities.

 Birds of prey and corvids (the family including crows and ravens and jays) figure prominently into many science fiction and fantasy stories, so we help lovers of this genre meet the actual creatures behind the stories, and they’re never disappointed with the real thing!.

This is where the science meets the fiction in a fantastic way.  Themes of conservation and cautionary tales are common in science fiction.  How many of these stories start with people having to move to space because we wrecked the planet we have?  It makes for good fiction, but who really wants to move to a new planet…really?  Teaching about the responsible care of our planet’s resources and wildlife will keep those stories as fiction, not reality.
Duckon is one of my favorite events to go to each year because of the wonderful people we meet and their outpouring of support for the World Bird Sanctuary.  We naturalists that go every year are frequently recognized, even when we’re not in uniform or with a bird.  We are greeted with such joy and enthusiasm!  It’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a rock star…even if it’s really the birds that are the stars! 

There are familiar faces who we see annually, some of whom come specifically to see our feathered comrades. Of course they immediately want to know who we’ve brought and if their favorites are among them.  Oh yes, they’re happy to see us too, but some of our birds, like Twig the Eastern Screech Owl and Xena the Eurasian Eagle Owl, have quite the Chicago fan base!  Every time we go, though, we also reach out to new folks who aren’t familiar with our mission, and I think it’s safe to say that after seeing our show, everyone is on board to help in any way they can.  They are a powerful force.  After all, what group doesn’t benefit from having Klingons in their corner?! 

In all seriousness, though, I’d like to thank all our loyal supporters on the Duckon planning committees and fans who fill out surveys listing the World Bird Sanctuary shows as their favorite part of the convention.  It is because of your input and enthusiasm that we get to keep coming back for more fun year after year.  Thanks for helping us to have another great one!

Submitted by Dana Lambert, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yoga comes to World Bird Sanctuary on Sunday!

Do you want to practice yoga surrounded by the raptors of World Bird Sanctuary?  

There's still time to register for Yoga and Wings of Love taking place at WBS this Sunday.

Linda Jones, Instructor/Owner of Yoga to Go Studio, is volunteering her time to lead a yoga class at World Bird Sanctuary.

If you'd like to join us for Yoga with the birds, click here to find out more!