Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are...


Obviously getting to see the wolves is the highlight of a visit to the Center, but every time I head up to the Center I’m looking forward to being surprised by other wildlife sightings. Located in the midst of an area rich with biodiversity, the Wolf Conservation Center and the surrounding land is, or has been, home to a variety of animals from the frequently sighted (deer, vultures) to the extremely rare (bobcats!).

Just the other morning, as I waited to take Atka to a program, I looked up to see 6 wild turkeys heading away from our fenced in office enclosure. Unfortunately, they left one of their brethren inside the enclosure. Even more unfortunately, the stranded one seemed to forget, as turkeys often seem to, that he could fly. After a few comically sad minutes of shaking his head at the fence and making some rather pathetic noises, his memory seemed to be jarred by my walking into the enclosure and he somewhat shakily flew off to search for his comrades.

A few hours later as Maggie and I drove back up the driveway after the program, a large red-tailed hawk flew over the van. Naturally he was gone by the time I got my camera out. I did however take the above photo of a bird’s nest that was constructed right on top of the fence of the ambassador wolves’ enclosure. Not only did the birds take advantage of the manmade structure to hold their home, but they also used wolf fur and the stuffing from some of the enrichment toys to help line (insulate?) their nest.

So if you come up to visit us, keep your eyes peeled because there’s always a lot of wildlife around. Or check out nearby Ward Pound Ridge Reservation after visiting us. With 35 miles of trails, it’s a great place to hike, see wildlife, sled, and/or just have a picnic.

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