Monday, May 25, 2009

Bird Brains (the good kind)!

Congratulations to Molly, age 8, the grand prize winner of our first contest! And congratulations to all our winners who also knew that ravens are the birds most closely associated with wolves and that many birds, including ravens, benefit from wolves by scavenging food from the animals that wolves are eating. (The photo above shows a coyote leaving a scavenging site in Yellowstone National Park.)

Thanks to everybody who entered. You'll have another chance to win some cool things in our next contest, which will begin the first week of June.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Atka!

Atka certainly knows how to patrol his territory in style. Our resident road warrior regularly hops into the Wolf Conservation Center van to enable folks to observe an Arctic Wolf first hand. He's traveled as far south as Washington D.C. and as far north as Vermont, always managing to mark a place in people's hearts and memories wherever he appears. Please join us in wishing our traveling ambassador a happy 7th birthday!

There's still a little time left to enter our current contest!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring Foal-iage

Last weekend saw another successful entry in the Wolf Conservation Center lecture series as Frank Weller, the co-founder of the Equine Angels Rescue Sanctuary (E.A.R.S.), appeared at the WCC with a rescued foal. E.A.R.S. is devoted to rescuing unwanted foals that are an unfortunate result of the manufacture of Premarin, a pharmaceutical. Frank gave a moving slide show about the foals and then introduced everyone to Jude, a rescued foal that has since been adopted. After the incredible opportunity to meet Jude face to face, visitors then had the pleasure of spending some time watching, and howling with, our ambassador wolves. For photos of the event, click here.

The next guest lecture will be about bears on July 19th. It should be a great way to learn about another often-misunderstood animal, so we hope you'll join us!

And don't forget - our current free contest ends in a few days, so enter now!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wild Weekend

We had a great weekend with Atka, conducting programs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Vermont and meeting a bunch of cool people. One of them was Shawn, whom we met at the Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival in Vermont. Shawn was nice enough to show us his drawing of a wolf he had completed before meeting Atka. Hopefully next time we're up there we'll be able to see his drawings of Atka!

We were also lucky enough to run into Michael Clough, the former Operations Manager of the Wolf Conservation Center, known to many students in the New York metropolitan area as "the wolf guy!" Michael, who founded and runs Rockhopper Outdoor Education in Vermont, was giving a presentation on birds of prey. Or at least that was the part we saw as we came in on the (red) tail end of his talk. It was great seeing him again. In addition to being a super person, he's an excellent and fun educator, so if you're in the area try to check out one of his programs!

And of course, don't forget to enter our current contest!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Apache!

We couldn't ask for a better alpha wolf than Apache. We hope you'll all join us in wishing our resident benevolent leader a happy 12th birthday!

And don't forget to enter our current contest!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

WCC Goes to the Birds - Contest!

photos by Josh Lewis

For the last few months some of us here at the WCC have gone a little bird-crazy. Maybe seeing that Arctic Snowy Owl in Norwalk, CT last fall helped start us. By the end of the winter we were watching eagles near Bear Mountain (above photo). Then we started keeping track of how many hawks we spot (right photo) each time we bring Atka out for a program. (The record is over 60 for one drive! Yes, it was a long drive.) We even put a woodpecker feeder over the pond in Atka's enclosure.

Obviously, there's plenty of birds to see around here - you probably didn't notice, but I just took a break from writing this to take a look at a hawk Spencer spotted in a tree between the office and the ambassadors' enclosure. We're certainly not bird experts, but we are trying to learn more, especially since there are many birds that benefit from the presence of wolves in an ecosystem. Did I mention that there's plenty of birds around here? Now there's a procession of wild turkeys walking down the path toward the classroom! OK, I promise - no more avian distractions; let's get to the contest.

We've come across a few cool bird-oriented items we'd love to share with you, so we're giving them away in a contest. We have a few copies of The Bird Songs Anthology by Les Beletsky, a book that has descriptions of 200 different types of birds along with an audio player to hear their calls; and a super fun (and challenging) Scramble Squares® bald eagle puzzle. Both are suitable for all ages. One winner will also receive one of our brand-new matted 8x10 wolf prints. Click here to see a sample.

Here's the deal: email your answer to either, or both, of the following questions to us at Please include your name and age (we won't publish either without your permission.) We'll select the winners from among the responses that correctly answer either question. The big winner will receive a book, the puzzle, and a photo; the other winners will get a copy of the book. Entries must be received by 12:00 am eastern standard time May 19.

Here are the questions:
1) What bird is most closely associated with wolves? (Hints: some call it the wolf-bird, author Edgar Allan Poe made one famous)
2) How do birds benefit from the presence of wolves? (Hint: there could be several correct answers and you can talk about whatever types of birds you want.)

Send your answers or any questions you might have to us at Good luck!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Kaila!

Kaila, the grand dame of the Wolf Conservation Center, turns 14 years old today! Please join us in wishing her a happy birthday. Being the clever wolf she is, we have no doubt she'll let Apache and Lukas squabble over a morsel of food while she waltzes past to receive a birthday treat!