Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter at the Wildlife Sanctuary-- We Never Hibernate!

Winter is here, and snow does not slow us down at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary! Being open everyday of the year gives you an unique opportunity to see the seasons at their best. The beauty of nature is seen in a new light as snow covers the trees and dusts the cages, giving a natural illumination. Most of the animals love playing in the snow. On any given winter day, you can see the otters or bobcats sliding and jumping in the drifts. Some of the critters are not big fans of the cold, like our cougar and golden eagle, so they have limited time outside. Some of the birds of prey are moved to their "winter migration" station. Birds that naturally migrate--turkey vultures, swainson hawks, and broadwinged hawks-- are moved to enclosed cages away from public viewing until spring returns again. If you love feeding the ducks and geese, winter is your time of year! As the natural food is covered, they rely on corn feeding by the general public. But do not worry-- if visitorship is down, we do have feeders in the back for the resident waterfowl to eat from!

Visiting the Wildlife Sanctuary in winter also means some great outdoor activities are available. Six miles of cross country ski trails are open daily from 8am to 4:30 pm-- and they are beautiful! You wind through the back trails, going past the wolves, deer, and through great natural habitats. Just be sure to bring your own skis! Check the website and Honker newsletter also for snowshoe hikes and great winter programs like an ice fishing workshop and Frosty Family Fun Night in February. Come out and visit the new waterfalls, go across the open boardwalk, bird watch, or just enjoy being outside in the crisp air. We also accept all orphaned and injured wildlife daily-- call us with any animal questions at (920) 391-3685.

Winter is a great time of year-- be sure to get out and enjoy it!
Lori Bankson, Senior Animal Keeper

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