Friday, February 8, 2013

Live Bald Eagle Appears at Cardinal Winter Warmup

As part of the Cardinal Winter Warmup on January 19, 20 & 21 Cardinal Baseball Fans were treated to the sight of a live Bald Eagle up close at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis, near the Arch.

The Cardinal Winter Warmup is a way for Cardinal Fans to shake off the winter blahs and get psyched for a new season of Cardinal Baseball.
 Fredbird poses with fans, WBS Intern Eleanor Tecosky-Feldman, and Patriot the Bald Eagle
Fans showed up from Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Tennessee.  These states have the Cardinal games broadcast on their local radio stations and are affectionately referred to as Cardinal Nation.

People showed up wearing Cardinal hats, Cardinal shirts, and little kids were wearing whole baseball uniforms.  Red and white clothing on people from all over the Midwest filled the Hyatt Regency rooms, escalators, elevators, parking garages, valet service, restaurant and meeting rooms and all the hallways in between--all to feed their baseball fever in January.

The main auditorium was full of autograph seekers--hundreds of people--who pay a fee to get current players and previous players’ autographs.  While waiting for the autograph lines to move the fans are treated to Cardinal baseball players being interviewed on the center stage of the auditorium, or it could be the owner or general manager being interviewed.

Meanwhile, in side meeting rooms, an author of a baseball book could be giving a lecture, or another baseball team’s general manager could be heard giving his take on players, previous trades, and the current state of baseball.
 Fredbird, WBS Naturalist Mike Zieloski, and Patriot the Bald Eagle
For the past several years World Bird Sanctuary has been invited to bring a Bald Eagle to have on display in one of these side rooms.  We are given a one hour or two hour time slot for people to hear the stories about our Eagles flying at Busch Stadium and learn fun and important facts about the Bald Eagle’s life in the wild and important conservation ideas that affect our National Symbol.  I have personally attended three of the Cardinal Winter Warmups with our eagles.  What a great event.  Also families and individuals may come up for photos next to the Bald Eagle.

In other meeting halls vendors or private owners are displaying their Baseball Card Collections, pennants, used game jerseys, used baseball bats and impressive photos of previous cardinal game action and memorable moments--a great way to collect or sell memorabilia.

Another group called The Green Team had a display table in a large hallway.  The Green Team is the group of volunteers that scour the stadium seating area between innings collecting recyclables so that those items do not end up in landfills.  The Green Team is headed up by long-time World Bird Sanctuary friend Rick Frahm.  Rick worked side by side with us at the Grant's Farm Bird show for many years.  I personally spent two full seasons at Grant's Farm presenting the bird show alongside Rick.  What a great guy to work with--always welcoming and professional.  If you want to make an environmental difference as an individual or with your church group or school group as a member of the Green Team you can contact them at  314-345-9485 or

All the proceeds from Cardinal Winter Warmup benefit Cardinals Care, the team's community foundation supporting kids.  Thanks to the generous assistance of fans, players, staff, volunteers, and sponsors, Cardinals Care has distributed more than $18 million to area organizations since its inception in 1997.  The Winter Warmup is the largest of several fund-raising efforts that supply grants to non-profit agencies in the St. Louis area.  These grants help kids in health, education, mentoring and the arts. 
 Fredbird, Patriot the Bald Eagle, and WBS intern Eleanor Tecosky-Feldman
Come see WBS’s Bald Eagle fly at some Cardinal Home Games.  The Home opener this year is Monday April 8th, 2013.

When you see the Eagle flying in Busch Stadium you will know that the Eagle is trained at World Bird Sanctuary by our lead Trainer Roger Wallace, other staff, interns and WBS volunteers.

Submitted by Michael Zeloski, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/EEC Manager

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