So in efforts to explore our new hometown, I thought I'd link up to the 'Love the Place You Live' link-up over at Design Mom. Our first outing in St. Louis was to the World Bird Sanctuary. It's close by and it's FREE!
Most of their time and effort is spent on rehabilitating birds that have been injured, educating the public and taking care of birds that are too injured to be released back in the wild. They have quite a collection.
Our first stop was their interactive show:
We got to watch this Tawny Owl while we learned some interesting facts about owls...like the fact that owls really can't turn their head all the way around.
It's always fun to see your kids enjoying the show.
One of the other things they do here is raise Barn owls from eggs to release back into the wild. They happen to be the most endangered of the American owls and are actually very useful. They really are the best mousers around. And did you know, they don't actually 'whoot'? This guy flew around for us and at one point the person doing the show asked us to close our eyes. This owl flew right over our heads and you couldn't even hear it!
Then we met Mischief, who was being a little shy and didn't want to share what he could say. He's an African White Neck (Banded?) Raven and is super intelligent.
They have Mischief trained to take the donation, put it in the slot and then give you a magnet.
Besides the show, they have the Nature Center with non-avian animals in there as well, a great education center where you can see different kinds of eggs (always fun to compare a humming birds egg to an ostrich egg) and you can peek into their hospital to see who they are taking care of at the moment.
Then you can walk around and see some of their guests:
This guy was some kind of Condor (wish I took notes...) I just liked the way the picture turned out and the look in his eyes.
Here the girls are in a replica of an Bald Eagles nest. They return to the same ones every year and just keep adding to them. They can get up to 9 feet wide!
Then of course there are the photo ops:
And here are some more birds we saw on the walk:
Peregrine Falcon--They like to nest on cliffs and eat small birds, so cities are actually a good habitat for them. They nest on the skyscrapers and there are plenty of pigeons.
One of the many injured Bald Eagles
Our own little Bald Eagle
A bird my daughter dubbed "Rock star of the chicken world", a Polish Chicken.
Another photo op:
And a cute fluffy tawny owl that is very well camouflaged and my daughter wondered which owl in Harry Potter this one could have been.
So if you are ever in St Louis and need another free thing to do (there are so many free things to do here in St. Louis, so this might be low on your list) you should really check out the World Bird Sanctuary...it's worth your time.