We made a bee-line for the amphitheater just in time to catch the 1:30 p.m. show. I was happy to discover our favorite WBS naturalist, Trina, would be heading up the program. Her enthusiasm and quick wit are entertaining and we always leave a show with a new little nugget of knowledge
...like how vultures eat so much they are often too heavy to fly and defend themselves from other predators by vomiting their meal to both scare off their attackers and make themselves lighter for flight.
After the show we took a tour of the hospital. The Sanctuary boasts the highest release rate around at 44% ...the average rate for other bird rehabilitation facilities is 36-38%. Incredibly WBS is not state or federally funded -- it relies completely on private donations. Cost to feed one bald eagle for a year is $1,000...they are currently caring for about 26 -- along with many other feathery friends.
If you missed this year's event -- no worries because WBS offers weekly keeper talks every Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. and from Memorial Day through Labor Day you may catch their amazing animal encounter shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- all FREE.
Check out their website for a slew of free, family-friendly events.
|Prosthetics - they've had limited success with them thus far.|
|While touring the hospital we spy an x-ray showing a bird shot with pellets.|
|Lots of protective gear is needed when handling egrets and cranes.|
|Rehab workers wear camo and use a bird puppet to feed babies and injured birds |
in an effort to guard against them becoming familiar with the human form.