Thursday, March 31, 2011

Re-usable Shopping Bags help World Bird Sanctuary

If you shop at Whole Foods Market Town & Country you can help World Bird Sanctuary.

World Bird Sanctuary is the beneficiary of Whole Foods Market Town & Country's One Dime at a Time program for April, May and June 2011.  This means that every time you shop at Whole Foods Market Town & Country, and take in your own shopping bag, you will be offered a 10¢ refund.  You can then choose to have this refund donated to World Bird Sanctuary.  It's a win-win!  The environment wins – no non-biodegradable plastic finding its way into our waterways; and World Bird Sanctuary wins – your donated refunds will help us continue the important work in our wildlife hospital and endangered species breeding center.
Murdock, a Military Macaw, urges you to consider reusable shopping bags
We'll even get you started!  When you shop at Whole Foods Market Town and Country between 12pm and 3pm on the following dates, you will get a free re-usable shopping bag from Whole Foods Market and World Bird Sanctuary (offer limited to first 50 visitors to the World Bird Sanctuary table on this day).

Saturday April 23rd             12pm – 3pm
Saturday May 28th             12pm – 3pm
Saturday June 18th            12pm – 3pm

We wish to express our thanks to Whole Foods Market for supporting World Bird Sanctuary through their One Dime at a Time program, and through their ongoing efforts to encourage us all to shop in a more environmentally sustainable way.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baturday?

World Bird Sanctuary is celebrating our first Baturday event April 9, 2011 from 12-4. 

What is Baturday?  Baturday is World Bird Sanctuary’s day to celebrate “2011 International Year of the Bat.”  Guests will learn all about Bats during our educational Bat presentation.  You will learn why Bats are so economically important, the threats they face and what you can do to help them survive. 

Meet our resident Straw-colored Fruit Bats, Batty and Scar.  Programs will be at 1 and 3 in the Nature Center. 
 Batty and Scar, our Straw-colored Fruit Bats
Watch a Bat training and enrichment session.  We will also have Bat house plans available to help you attract Bats to your neighborhood--we can guarantee that after learning all about Bats you’ll want them around your house!

Help us with the Bat enrichment session by bringing fresh herbs like dill, thyme and basil.  Other fresh herbs that can be used are spearmint (Menta spicata), peppermint (Menta x piperita), oregano (Origanum vulgare), creeping marjoram (Origanum spp.), English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), catnip (Nepeta cataria), basil (Ocimum basilicum), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). 

We could also use new silk flowers and greenery to decorate the cage.  The colors of the flowers add a bit of enrichment for these fascinating mammals. 

Additional enrichment item possibilities are:  a new hanging suet feeder, plain gelatin to make bat jigglers, wire trash baskets (small), wreaths made of grape vines and colored wood made for mammals or parrots.  All of these items can be used for various types of enrichment and we will talk about it in our enrichment/training session.

Join Batty and Scar to celebrate Bats and learn about these amazing flying mammals.

Submitted by Cathy Spahn, Field Studies Coordinator

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eagle Visits Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

On January 8 and 9, 2011 the World Bird Sanctuary presented an eagle display at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower.  The event was a great success, with a large crowd attending. January and February are great months to watch eagles.
Emily Taul, Michael Zeloski and Myakka the Bald Eagle inside the Tower Visitor Center
May I suggest that you combine Eagle Watching with a visit to the Lewis & Clark Tower. You can take the elevator up to the top and enjoy beautiful views of the place where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi River.

When you are at the top of the Tower you are 150 feet up in the air. What a view! This is a perfect vantage point from which to spot eagles, hawks, gulls and waterfowl--maybe even a White Pelican.
View of the Lewis & Clark Tower from below - photo by Michael Zieloski
As an added bonus the Lewis & Clark State Historic site is right next door.  The museum is well worth a visit.

To get directions to the Tower go to www.Mapquest.com and enter the following address:
435 Confluence Tower Drive
Hartford, Il 62048
618-251-9101

For more information about the Tower go to: www.ConfluenceTower.com

World Bird Sanctuary would like to thank Emily Taul for inviting us to participate in their event and the Friends of the Tower for sponsoring our Eagle Display.

Submitted by Michael Zeloski, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Friday, March 25, 2011

Effects on the Environment - #6


Following is #6 in the series of articles by World Bird Sanctuary volunteer Jennifer Jones, discussing the effects on the environment posed by modern day “improvements” and conveniences.

Styrofoam-Polystyrene

The biggest environmental health concern associated with polystyrene is the danger associated with Styrene.  Styrene is used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber and resins.  Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain (Especially when heated in the microwave)

These products are made with petroleum, a non-sustainable and heavily polluting resource.

Polystyrene foam is often dumped into the environment as litter.  The material is known for breaking up into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems.  At least part of the solution here is simple—don’t litter!  When venturing into the out of doors for a hike, a picnic, a float trip, etc., follow the cardinal rule of good outdoorsmanship—leave it cleaner than when you got there.  Carry out your trash and dispose of it properly.  An even better solution—don’t be part of the problem.  Don’t use styrofoam plates, cups or containers.  If you must use “disposables”, use paper plates instead of foam.  The same is true for coffee cups.  If possible use reusable, washable food containers instead of foam.

At Lake of the Ozarks here in Missouri foam dock floatation logs were used under every dock for years.  Due to wave action and normal deterioration these logs would break down over a period of time and shed pieces and particles of foam into the lake.  On a quiet morning the shorelines and coves were covered with foam.  These foam logs have now been outlawed on Lake of the Ozarks by Ameren UE.  As of January 1, 2008 all floatation under docks must now be encapsulated so that foam particles are no longer shed into the lake.  It is now rare to find floating foam debris on this beautiful lake.  This is an inspiring example of environmental responsibility on the part of AmerenUE Corporation, which issues dock permits and sets dock standards at the lake.

AmerenUE also sponsors an Adopt-the-Shoreline program, which organizes a shoreline clean-up program each Spring.  Volunteers patrol the shoreline, picking up trash and debris, and AmerenUE provides administrative support and pays for disposal of the trash and debris removed.  This is a great example of individuals and an environmentally responsible corporation working together to do something positive for the environment.

These are just a few examples of what we have done to and for our environment and ourselves.

I know as I write this it makes me stop and think about what I can do better for not only our wildlife but for our lives as well.  It’s the only planet we have and we need to start treating it with more respect.  We need to clean up the mess we’ve made, and within that process not only will we see improvement within our wildlife and our habitats, but also improvement in our health as well.  Extinction is forever!  Our planet must be saved, for our sake as well as wildlife. It starts with one voice and one act of kindness.  As Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Submitted by Jennifer Jones, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fiesta - Tomorrow!

Don't forget - It's Mexican Fiesta Fundraiser time tomorrow!

It's that time of year again when your dinner at Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurants helps the Kathryn G. Favre Wildlife Hospital.

Date: Thursday, March 24th 2011
Time: 11.00am – 10pm
Where: Any Casa Gallardo Restaurant in the St. Louis area

Click here  to print the flyer, take to any Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurant in the St. Louis area and they will donate 25% of your food bill to the wildlife hospital!

But remember – no flyer, no donation, so be sure to print and take the flyer with you! Black and white is okay, and you can copy as many as you would like and distribute them at work, among your friends or at school!

Happy dining!  And thanks for your support!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shadow vs. Tsavo: An Insider’s Perspective on “Personalities”

I doubt that most people give much thought to whether or not birds of prey exhibit any kind of individual character or personality. 

Without question, many of the birds of prey I have worked with in captivity do seem to exhibit both individual personalities and behaviors, likes and dislikes.  Certain behaviors seem to vary not only with each individual bird, but can be different according to the individual human that is handling or even walking past a specific bird.  
Max, the Tawny Eagle--affectionately known as our "watchbird"
If you have been around the Environmental Education Center when Maximus, the Tawny Eagle is outside, you can hear her “bark” anytime she sees someone she knows.  Some people have watchdogs, but we have a watchbird.
Turk, the Turkey Vulture has definite opinions about certain humans 
Another example is Turk the Turkey Vulture.  She seems to exhibit a strong dislike for me, and I have no idea as to why.  She also has a definite distaste for some of our staff members that have had to catch her up for routine medical check-ups and maintenance.  That I can certainly understand, and we have several birds that give these particular persons the “stink eye” anytime they see them.  Unfortunately it is a part of the job that comes with the territory.  We know not to take it personally.

There are a few female Harris’ Hawks that don’t seem to care for me, yet they hold other staff in high regard.  However, it goes both ways--there are certain birds that seem to be friendlier to me and don’t particularly care for certain other staff.

Who can say what goes on in the thinking process of a bird, and why they choose to like or dislike certain people.  I am just pointing out that it happens, and I find it both interesting and entertaining.

I have worked in particular with two birds of the same species, but at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as personality goes.  I am referring to Tsavo and Shadow, our Bateleur Eagles. 
Tsavo has become one of my favorites
Tsavo has become one of my favorite birds to work with at the Environmental Education Center.  He exhibits a sweet and laid back demeanor and seems quite comfortable with me.  He has never shown any kind of aggressive tendencies toward me, and will make cute little barking noises when I am near.  This is a very different sound than a Bateleur’s aggressive barking noise, which I will mention again later.  Oddly, Tsavo is not as happy-go-lucky with all of his handlers, and on occasion has become slightly aggressive toward some.  Thankfully, I seem to be accepted into his flock, so it isn’t a problem for me.  I will miss him greatly this summer when he makes his way to star in a WBS educational bird show at a zoo.
 Shadow, expressing his opinion of me
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Shadow.  I worked with Shadow at Grant’s Farm over the summer.  It was challenging, to say the least.  Shadow seems to have taken a serious dislike toward me and makes no bones about demonstrating how he feels.  If I am within eyeshot, he begins lifting his head and wings and posturing.  He starts calling out in angry tones, barking wildly, and even banging his beak on the ground (never hard enough to hurt himself).  It is quite a display.  If I were a bird, I would definitely head in the other direction.  However, I have to work with this bird, snotty attitude or not.  It is something one gets accustomed to, and we learn appropriate measures and methods of how to deal with this type of behavior.  On the other hand, Shadow seemed to become quite enamored with Lisbeth, who also worked with him at Grant’s Farm.  It was amazing to see how differently he reacted to each of us.

So who knows what it is about someone that a bird of prey seems to either love or deplore.  And who knows if they really do have their own personality.  I just find it to be a fascinating aspect about the feathered friends that I so admire and am privileged enough to work with.

Submitted by Billie Baumann, World Bird Sanctuary Outreach Coordinator

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It’s Here!

It’s finally here!  The World Bird Sanctuary’s annual harbinger of Spring—World Eagle Day!
 Clark, one of the Bald Eagles you may have seen fly at a Baseball Cardinals game
Most of us are familiar with the Bald Eagle—our national symbol.  However, did you know that there are many other species of eagles?  The United States is home to two of these—the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle.  Throughout the world there are many others. Come out and join us on Saturday, March 20 to see many of these other magnificent birds from around the world.
 A Bateleur Eagle, one of a number of eagles native to Africa
Bring your cameras and be prepared to be entertained.  There will be presentations by our naturalists who will be assisted by our stars, the birds; a photo op station where you can have your photo taken with one of our majestic Bald Eagles; face painting; sing-alongs; storytelling; and a number of other fun activities. 
 For a small fee have your photo taken with a Bald Eagle
Food will be available at our Peregrine Café snack booth.

Admission and parking are free.

So plan to join us tomorrow for a fun day outdoors.

Hours:  10 am to 3 pm
Click here for directions.

For the safety of our guests and our birds, no pets please.


World Eagle Day is sponsored by Ameren UE

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fiesta!


It's Mexican Fiesta Fundraiser time again!

It's that time of year again when your dinner at Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurants helps the Kathryn G. Favre Wildlife Hospital.

Date: Thursday, March 24th 2011
Time: 11.00 am – 10 pm
Where: Any Casa Gallardo Restaurant in the St. Louis area

 Click here to print the flyer, take to any Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurant in the St. Louis area and they will donate 25% of your food bill to the wildlife hospital!

But remember – no flyer, no donation, so be sure to print and take the flyer with you! Black and white is okay, and you can copy as many as you would like and distribute them at work, among your friends or at school!

Happy dining!  And thanks for your support!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Rookie Files: Corvid Training

When I first arrived at the World Bird Sanctuary I was prepared to work with birds of prey, and even the parrots that I had viewed during my tour. 

After all, who doesn’t want a chance to interact with intelligent and mimicking birds? What I did not count on was meeting the crows and ravens who take bird intelligence to a whole new level.
 Lenore, a White Necked Raven--when no toys are available a twig will do
One of the upsides to working with Corvids?--their intelligence.  Crows, ravens, jays and magpies are all members of the family Corvidae and are some of the most intelligent birds in the world. They are able to learn numbers, colors, shapes and sizes, as well as mimic sounds. This includes everything from human voices to the calls of other wild birds.  Blue jays have been heard screaming like red-tailed hawks at crowded bird feeders. These creative Corvids then enjoy all of the tasty seed left by the other songbirds, which vacated when they heard “the Red-tail.”

This characteristic intelligence makes them a great joy to work with and train. They are able to understand a variety of different behaviors including stacking rings, puzzle balls, recycling, toy pick up and painting. We also use them to collect donations after programs by harnessing their natural behavior of caching. Corvids will set aside and hide food to eat later.  By giving our birds a food reward we can encourage them to stash money instead--turning caching into cashing.
Mischief, a White Necked Raven, demonstrates caching behavior 
One of the downsides to working with Corvids?--their intelligence.  Being such clever birds also makes them excellent problem solvers and sometimes they problem solve against us.

Our crows and ravens are not so thrilled when we go to collect their leftovers, including anything they may have cached, so they will occasionally fake us out. Instead of standing protectively by their real cache, they will guard an empty pile of shavings in a corner of their enclosure. By the time they have moved and we discover the deception they are sitting on their perch enjoying some leftover tidbits from the still undiscovered cache.

During show season they become escape artists, undoing show clips and untying knots. They also have excellent memories so if they happen to find food that someone has dropped they will head back to that same location, show after show, in search of more.
 Corvid toys look suspiciously like what you might use to entertain your 2-year-old  (except for the soda can)
 This creativity means we need to keep our birds entertained with a variety of activities and toys. If we don’t, they invent their own ways to keep entertained. Lenore, one of our White-necked Ravens is a big fan of “help I’m stuck”. She will sit on her perch in the Nature Center weathering area, wait for a large group of people and then hop to the ground. She will then hop pathetically towards her perch, giving the appearance that her jesses are caught and she is stuck. Once a staff member has been alerted by a concerned guest, Lenore will hop up to her perch without any problem. This is one of her favorite games, and since our birds’ safety is such a priority we always check on her.
Little Guy carrying one of her rings
Little Guy, another White-necked Raven, enjoys seeing how often she can be rewarded during a behavior. When stacking rings, she will look up at unsuspecting humans between rings hoping to prod them into giving her a treat for every individual ring rather than stacking the whole tower.

Cherry an African Pied Crow is excellent at tricking people into doing most of the behavior for her. She sits and stares and will on occasion nudge the items, causing many people to think she needs help…clever crow.
Cherry, an African Pied Crow, trying to train the trainer 
Corvids have a bad rap, often being connected through myth and legend with death and murder. What many people do not realize is that they are incredibly intelligent and social creatures. Working with them is a true delight although it does often pose the question: who exactly is being trained?
 Mischief, a White Necked Raven, accepting donations from an audience member
If you would like to interact with one of these incredibly intelligent creatures, join us for World Eagle Day on March 20 when one of these remarkable birds will do it’s donation collection routine. 

Submitted by Leah Tyndall, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Trainer

Sunday, March 13, 2011

West Nile Virus


Over the past two years, I’ve twice been out to visit friends in Seattle, Washington, and have really enjoyed the lush greenness of the area.  

Of course, I’m always looking for birds no matter what other activities we’re doing.  Can’t pass up the chance to see birds I’ve never seen in the wild before.  The one I most want to spot is a Golden Eagle, as they are one of my favorites, but so far no luck. 

However, what I did notice during both trips was the huge abundance of crows everywhere you go.  You can’t miss their presence, even if you’re not a bird watcher—they’re huge and noisy!  While some find the crows’ constant noise a little irritating, I found it fascinating to watch them just do what they do in the wild in a way we here in St. Louis cannot.  The difference in crow density between the two areas is likely related to West Nile virus and geography.

West Nile virus first showed up in the New York City area in 1999.  It was a new virus to the area and took a bit of time to be identified as such, likely brought into port by a foreign shipment of birds.  By September of 1999, after a rash of bird deaths, particularly crows, the New York Department of Health identified the disease based on both wild bird specimens and birds from the Bronx Zoo. 

By 2001, West Nile was all over the Eastern seaboard and the South-- particularly heavy in Florida.  Seven cases were reported in St. Louis County.  Because West Nile virus is predominantly spread by mosquitoes, it makes sense that an area like Florida with huge densities of mosquitoes would suffer greater losses. 

By 2004, there were reported cases from nearly every county in Missouri.  It had spread as far west as Idaho and Oregon, and California had been bombarded.  But no cases were reported from Washington.  Over time, West Nile did finally make its way into Washington, but only in comparatively low cases. 

By 2009 there were no cases reported in Missouri, but 10 counties reporting in Washington.  The number of bird specimens from those counties only numbered 22, as opposed to California who still reported 412 specimens in 2010. 

Fortunately, Washington’s climate has a combination of characteristics working against the spread of West Nile Virus that most places don’t.  The mountains through the middle of the state create a physical barrier against both insect movement and the movement of most birds.  Although Washington is quite wet most of the year, they rarely get the heat that helps to spawn legions of mosquitoes.  The wind patterns and frontal systems across the mountains seem to keep the air less stagnant than what we experience here in the St. Louis area in late summer--prime West Nile transmission time.  While there are likely other factors at work, these seem like plausible possibilities for Washington’s isolation from this virus.

To my knowledge, it is not understood why the Corvid family (ravens, crows, jays, & magpies) are more susceptible to West Nile mortality than other types of birds.  Crow deaths became an early indicator of West Nile in many areas; however, crows were not feared to be a vector for the spread of the disease, as they are not generally migratory. 

Fortunately, through a conscientious and sustained effort, we here at the Sanctuary were successful in keeping our birds safe during the worst of West Nile in our area.  Mosquito Magnets positioned throughout the site, an excellent resident bat population and meticulous avoidance of standing water wherever possible were key to our success.  These are all summertime mosquito deterrents we continue to employ. 

We did treat many cases of the disease in wild birds at our Wildlife Hospital, where it seemed to show up in Great Horned Owls more often than other raptor species.  The reasons for this are unknown, but one could conjecture that an animal hunting at night when the winds have died down and the mosquitoes are out in force would be at greater risk for being bitten by an infected insect.
 
Here in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, it would seem that the populations of crows and blue jays are slowly rebounding.  Some birdwatchers have told us they are seeing more Jays at their feeders after years of seeing none, where there once were many.  The sound of crows calling from our forests is a little more noticeable now after it had been conspicuously missing for a time. 

Hopefully, with time, the affected bird populations will make their way back to normal levels.  Working with crows and ravens in our shows is amazing and challenging; it has definitely increased my awareness and appreciation for their wild counterparts as well.  You never know what mischief you might catch them in next!


Submitted by Dana Lambert, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Friday, March 11, 2011

“Blind As A Bat” – Truth or Old Wives’ Tale?

As Part 2 of a series celebrating the “Year of the Bat”, following are some misconceptions about bats that I want to clarify about these seriously misunderstood, amazing creatures. 

I often hear people claim that bats are flying mice.  While many bats are as small as a mouse when their wings are tucked in, bats are not related to rodents.  Bats are in their own group called ‘Chiroptera’, which means hand-wing.  Bats are actually more closely related to monkeys, lemurs and people than to rodents.
Scar, one of our Straw Colored Fruit Bats, just "hanging out"
Another popular misconception is that bats are blind.  This is far from the truth.  Most bats can see as well as a human, if not better.  Fruit bats, like World Bird Sanctuary’s Straw-colored Fruit bats, have excellent eyesight and use it to find their food.  Fruit bats can also see in color, which helps them locate their food.

The Little Brown Bat is one of the fourteen species of bats indigenous to Missouri.  Little Browns have excellent eyesight and also have excellent hearing that they use to locate their food.  I’ll talk about how many bats find their insect food in upcoming blogs.

Often when outside at a picnic during the summer I frequently hear someone panic when they realize bats are flying overhead.  People often believe the bats are going to get tangled in their hair or are going to attack them.  This is not true.  What is happening is that the bats are swooping close to you to get the mosquitoes and other little insects that are hovering just above your head.  Insect-eating bats are equipped with a built in sonar system.  This system allows them to navigate at break-neck speed through total darkness, so the chance of a bat colliding with a human head is virtually non-existent.
Bats actually have very cute faces
When many people hear the word “bat” their first comment is that bats are ugly or dirty.  In a bat lover’s opinion (and yes, that would include me), most bats have very cute faces, much like a puppy. Contrary to popular opinion, bats are actually very clean animals.  Like a cat, they spend an enormous amount of time grooming their fur, keeping it soft and silky.

The biggest misconception people have about bats is rabies.  Like most mammals, bats are capable of catching rabies.  However, less than one-half of one percent of bats actually contract the disease.  In reality, more people die annually from contact with rabid household pets than have died from contact with bats in all recorded history.  Always be careful, though.  Children should be cautioned that if they find a bat on the ground they should not pick it up.  A grounded bat is most likely ill.  If an adult must pick it up use heavy gloves and place the bat under or in a thick bush.

For more information regarding exactly how to remove a bat or bats go to www.batcon.org or www.batworld.org.  Information about rabies can also be found on these websites.  Both groups have excellent information to assist you.

Submitted by Cathy Spahn, Field Studies Coordinator
           

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

AVIAN TRAINING WORKSHOP

Have you ever wanted to increase your knowledge of raptors and bird training—how to place anklets on raptors, how to imp and how to train birds? 
 Workshop participants learning about veterinary techniques
If you are a novice or are already experienced with birds of prey and training, but want to learn more, you should attend our “Avian Training Workshop” this November.  The workshop is an intensive 4-day long experience where you will learn from the senior staff at World Bird Sanctuary.  
Dissecting a bird to learn what the internal organs look like
Part of the workshop is classroom lecture style, and part of it will be hands-on working with equipment and the birds themselves.  Some of the topics we will cover include:

·    Different species of birds utilized for education programs, which ones work best, and comparing hawks, falcons, owls, eagles, pelicans, horn bills, crows, ravens, parrots and other bird species.

·    Information about how to develop your own raptor center, the permits and necessary experience needed, insurance, etc.

·    How to best house raptors and other birds– perches, mews, jump boxes and other caging.  How best to protect weathering and exhibited raptors and other birds from potential predators, weather, etc.
A workshop participant learning how to present education programs 
·    How to present education programs – dress code, scripts, voice protection exercises, audience participation and much more.

·    Transportation of birds – driving, flying, shipping – how best to keep them safe and comfortable.
Learning how to tube feed a bird who is sick or refuses to eat
·    Bird diets – what to feed, how to get and store the food, vitamins, etc.
  
 ·      How to train your birds– what is a base weight, what is a target weight, creance line, flyer food, positive and negative reinforcement, and we train a White-necked Raven to perform a new behavior throughout the workshop!

·    Hands-on making of jesses, anklets and leashes.  Learning how to imp feathers on a bird.
A workshop participant learning to free fly a Harris' Hawk 
·    Flying a bird!  A chance to fly a Harris’ Hawk or a Barn Owl and learn the correct techniques for free flying.

The registration fee includes your workshop guide. This guide contains a wealth of information, most of which is covered during the workshop, as well as additional information.  The class is small; we take a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 20 people.  But that also means that if you don’t act, the spaces could be filled.  Enroll today to insure your place in this unique and highly informative class, now in its 15th year!!
 
The workshop runs from Thursday, Nov. 3rd through Sunday, Nov. 6th and the cost for the 4-day event is $650 per person (this includes lunch each day).  In order to register, we require a $100 non-refundable deposit by October 1st, after that date the price will increase to $750 per person.

If you would like to learn more, or register for the workshop, please contact Laura MacLeod at lmacleod@worldbirdsanctuary.org or call 636-225-4390 x0.

Submitted by Laura MacLeod, World Bird Sanctuary Education Coordinator

Monday, March 7, 2011

Last Chance!

Last Day to Vote to Help World Bird Sanctuary win About.com's Reader's Choice Awards!

World Bird Sanctuary has been nominated for About.com's Reader's Choice Awards in the category Best Free Attraction or Event in St. Louis.

If you love visiting WBS, love the free admission AND free parking AND no additional fees to see specific displays, then please vote for us!
Voting ends today, so don't delay – vote today!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Clark and Fredbird Team Up


On January 17, 2011, at Cardinal Winter Warm-Up, St. Louis baseball Cardinal fans were able to get a close look at Clark the Bald Eagle and have their photo taken standing next to Clark and Fredbird the Cardinal Mascot.
 Clark, the Bald Eagle, meets Fredbird
What a great way to shake off the cold weather and focus your thoughts on Spring, Cardinal Baseball, and warmer weather!

Clark is one of the Eagles that fly at Busch Stadium prior to some of the Cardinal Home games during the regular season.  Clark is trained by World Bird Sanctuary staff member Roger Wallace.  Roger does a superb job of training our Eagles and getting them ready for their awe-inspiring flights at the ballgames.

The Cardinal Winter Warm-Up is a fundraiser to benefit Cardinals Care, the team's community foundation supporting kids.

Pictured with Fredbird is World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer Jaimie Sansoucie.

Submitted by Michael Zeloski, World Bird Sanctuary, Naturalist.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eagle Scout Helps Wildlife Photographers at WBS


Chris Singleterry's Eagle Scout Ceremony took place January 9, 2011 at Mattingly's Sports Restaurant in Florissant, Missouri.
 Eagle Scout Chris Singleterry, WBS Naturalist Mike Zieloski, and Patriot the Bald Eagle
World Bird Sanctuary is grateful to Chris for doing his Eagle Scout service project for the World Bird Sanctuary.

For his Eagle Scout project Chris refurbished our photo blind and the adjoining Bird Feeder Station.  He improved the structure, made it more accessible, and improved the feed station itself.   As a result of his project we anticipate more photographers will utilize this photo blind.

Chris is a hard worker. I have seen him work on other projects with his scout troop.  Chris and his fellow scouts were the troop that designed and built Eagle Nesting Platforms in areas next to the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in conjunction with Missouri American Water.

An Eagle Scout project is more than just showing up to do the project.  A young man doing his Eagle Scout project is responsible for planning the project, securing the materials (almost always through donations), recruiting the necessary labor crew and coordinating all other aspects of the project. 

To show our appreciation for all the hard work that a scout puts into doing his Eagle Scout service project with us, the World Bird Sanctuary brings a Bald Eagle to his Eagle Court  of Honor. The family and guests all appreciated seeing Patriot the Bald Eagle up close for the Educational presentation.

Thanks to Chris, his family, and his Scout Troop for helping to improve the World Bird Sanctuary’s feeding station area.

If you, or someone you know, are trying to decide on an Eagle Scout Service Project, give us a call at 636-225-4390 for more information about Service Projects available through the World Bird Sanctuary.  There are also projects available for Girl Scout Gold Award applicants.

Submitted by Michael Zeiloski, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Eagle Day Is Coming!

It's Coming!  The day all you eagle watchers have been waiting for all winter!

Reserve the date to come out and join us for a fun day outdoors surrounded by eagles, eagles and more eagles. This event is fun for the whole family.  There will be games for the youngsters, entertaining and educational shows featuring our stars, the birds, a photo opportunity to have your picture taken with one of our magnificent Bald Eagles and naturalists ready and eager to tell you all about the birds on display.

You can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of our picnic tables--or purchase food and beverages at our Peregrine Cafe snack booth.

We now have paved paths that make the walking easier for the elderly, the handicapped, and moms with strollers.  There are also now new modern restrooms conveniently located on our upper triangle.

So, bring your cameras, bring the kiddies, and bring grandma and grandpa for a fun family day in the outdoors.

As always, attendance and parking are free!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 20, 10 am to 3 pm

For the safety of our guests and our birds, no pets please.