Wednesday, October 13, 2010

17th Annual Halloween Event Coming Soon!

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary's Annual Halloween Event is quickly approaching! The 17th annual event will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2010 beginning at 6:00 pm. The idea for this popular program came about year's ago as a great family friendly Halloween activity that is an alternative to the typical haunted house. No scary monsters, blood or gore here!

The focus of the event is on education and having fun while being entertained by a larger than life animal (a volunteer dressed up in a costume). Our 25-30 volunteers range in age from 8-30. Each of them tries out for the particular animal character that they would like to portray. After receiving their part, they spend hours memorizing their animal script, working on their costume and interacting with each other. Many of the characters play off of each other and try to point out their character's habits and qualities that make them unique. Most of the characters are nocturnal animals (ie. bat, opossum, skunk, raccoon, moth, etc.) that are commonly found in Wisconsin and often times are misunderstood. All of this is done in an educational and many times humorous way!

Our event takes place rain or shine because it is held inside the pumpkin lit, darkened Nature Center. You also don't have to stand outside in a long line and wait for your chance to meet our animal friends. Groups of 15-20 people are led through the indoor hike every 20 minutes beginning at 6:00 pm and concluding at 8:20 pm. Each hike takes approximately 45 minutes. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and each child will receive a treat bag after completing their hike. The fee is $3.00 per adult and $2.00 per child under 12. Pre-registration for a specific time slot is required. Many time slots fill up quickly. For more information or to pre-register please call (920) 391-3671.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Memorial to our Cougar

Our staff would like to say good-bye to a member of our wildlife family.

Dago the Cougar died July 27, 2010 at the age of 18.
He came to us in October of 1992. He had been confiscated by authorities as an illegal pet. At that time he was suffering from malnutrition and joint problems. He had life-long hip issues because of this. Dago in 1993

He will be greatly missed by staff and volunteers, as well as by all of the thousands of visitors who have been coming to see him for the past 18 years.

Dago in 2009

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

See WLS goslings and ducklings!

More Trail Reports:
May 10
-False Solomon's Seal blooming along Chipmunk Trail
-Rose-breasted Grosbeak carrying nesting material and working on nest
-Yellow Warblers singing right outside Nature Center
May 8
-91 species of birds seen and heard
May 6
-Orchard Oriole seen and heard near Director's residence
-Summer Tanager (female) seen by staff and visitors, a rare visitor to this area
May 5
-17 species of warblers seen and heard

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trail Updates
May 4
-Vole impaled on sharp twig by a Shrike
-Nashville Warbler climbing through twigs and singing
-Palm Warblers all over the trails
-Wild Strawberry blossoms
-Blue-gray Gnatcatchers chasing each other
-Beautiful Scarlet Tanager male in Hussong Woods
-Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing in the apple blossoms
-young male Baltimore Oriole singing and bouncing through leaves
April 21
-A pair of Blue-winged Teal on Hussong Marsh
-Hermit Thrush jumping on snags
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet bouncing through branches
-Eastern Phoebe catching insects
-2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers chasing each other
-Stinging Nettle growing up
April 20
-Cabbage butterflies fluttering
-Ferns coming up in the marsh (fiddleheads)
-Trout Lilies blooming
-Jewelweed leaves peeking out of the forest floor
-Woodchucks out eating, then scurrying to their burrows
-Lesser Scaup diving by the floating boardwalk
-Yellow-rumped Warbler
April 19
-Brown Thrasher bouncing around under the brush
-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher flitting from branch to branch
-Painted Turtle sunning on a log in Hussong Marsh
-Bluebells blooming along the trail
-bumblebee buzzing near the ground
-waterleaf leaves growing in the woods
-mayapple leaves have flower buds nested between them, ready to blossom soon
-violets blooming all along edges of trail
-dragonfly hawking insects on the boardwalk
April 14
-Cedar Waxwings in the trees
-A pair of Wooducks flying across Hussong Marsh
-Dragonflies mating at Whirligig Pond
-Lots of mosquito pupae wriggling in Whirligig Pond
-An Osprey circling overhead-Leopard Frogs calling
-May Apple leaves and buds along Hussong Trail

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kicking off the 2010 Season of our Urban Fishing Program

On Earth Day we kicked off the 2010 season of our urban fishing program with the planting of 1,500 rainbow trout into Manger Lagoon.

We reinstated the fishing program last April after the restoration of the lagoon was complete. To date, more than 10,000 fish have been planted in the lagoon.

The following is what you need to know about our program:

  • Program is open to children ages 15 and under as well as handicapped or disabled adults
  • Fish caught can either be kept or released back into the lagoon
  • Children ages 15 and younger can fish without a license, but adult anglers will need a license and if they plan to keep any fish caught, will also need an inland trout stamp
  • Sanctuary staff is on-hand on Sanctuary grounds, but the program is not supervised, so adults are encouraged to attend with younger children
  • State urban fishing regulations and city ordinances are in place and will be enforced by State DNR wardens and by the Green Bay Police Department

We'd like to thank Don Renard, Renco Machine and the Green Bay Area Great Lakes Sportfishermen who have made the fish stockings and the urban fishing program possible.

We can't wait to see everyone fishing at the lagoon!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bald Eagle is doing great! She has been moved out of recovery to the flight pavilion so she can start building strength and muscle tone. She has to be encouraged to move at this point; at the end of the video clip there is a broom that gently moves toward her--that is simply part of the physical therapy session. She does not fly yet, but is gaining strength in her legs through running and flaps her wings to build flight muscle. This process will eventually involve her flying from one end of the enclosure to the other. We will continue to work with her and still have hope that she will make a full recovery.

OTHER NEWS from the sanctuary:

One of our volunteers photographed the first known batch of goslings this season on April 15!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trail Updates

April 2
-A pair of Eastern Phoebes catching flying insects
-Brown Creepers crawling up and down trunks
April 5
-Mourning Cloak butterfly fluttering through the woods
-Hermit Thrush bouncing around on fallen logs
-Wood Frogs calling along Hussong Marsh
-Tree Swallows swooping and diving for insects
-A Cabbage Butterfly fluttering around a patch of blue Scilla; an American Goldfinch singing up above see short clip below

April 8
-Wild Turkey tracks in the snow
-A pair of Sandhill Cranes standing together on a small patch of the trail not covered with snow
-A pair of mature Bald Eagles circling over Hussong Marsh
-A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker circling around a tree trunk
April 12
-A male Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle Warbler) zoomed past and perched on a branch close by
-A pair of Song Sparrows in a small tree along a boardwalk
-An Eastern Comma Butterfly sunning itself along the back fence of the deer yard
-Virginia Bluebells ready to bloom along Hussong Trail
-Trout Lily leaves all over Hussong Woods

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eagle Update #1-- February 17, 2010
Here is the surgical story of the Bald Eagle from our partners at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital...

Friday, February 12 was a typical day at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital until the staff of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary arrived with an injured bald eagle. The bird had been hit by a vehicle in the Crivitz area. She was very weak, and did not put up much of a fight, which is not normal for eagles, even sick ones!

Dr Gray was concerned that this bird might have multiple injuries, and could also have other health conditions which had weakened her so that she wasn’t able to avoid the passing car. He and the technicians gave the eagle a complete physical exam, and collected a blood sample for testing in our laboratory. Dr. Gray found a severe wound to the eagle’s left elbow; most of the skin had been peeled away.
View of left wing xray

view of right wing fracture

X-rays showed another serious problem; there was a fracture of the lower part of the radius bone in the right wing, just above the wrist. The skin was not broken in this area, which was good news. But in order to fly well, eagles must have nearly perfect function of their wings, and the fracture was close to the joint.
By the time the exam and x-rays were done, the blood results were also finished. We could see that the bird had no signs of internal bleeding, and no organ damage. This was good news, but we still had a very shocky bird.
Dr Gray considered the options, and decided that the best course would be to stabilize the eagle for a few days, then perform surgery to close the skin wound and repair the fracture. He prescribed antibiotics and pain medication, and bandaged the eagle’s wounds. The bird returned to the Wildlife Sanctuary for treatment over the weekend.
On Monday, February 15, we were delighted to see a much stronger eagle! The bird was much more difficult to handle, which is a good sign for her, but a challenge for the staff! Dr. Gray anesthetized the eagle, placed an intravenous catheter, and had her prepped for surgery. All during the surgery, Cindy, a Certified Veterinary Technician, monitored the eagle’s vitals signs and controlled the gas anesthesia. After an hour and a half, the eagle was sporting four stainless steel pins in her broken radius, and the wound on the other elbow had been closed. It took thirty stitches just to close that wound!
Things are looking good, but we are in the difficult “watching and waiting” period. The bird looks great, but it will be several more days before we know how well the skin wound heals, and several weeks before we can tell how well the fracture heals. Dr Gray is continuing to monitor her closely, and we’ll keep you posted on her progress!
The Staff of Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello wildlife enthusiasts!
The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary would like to welcome you to our new blog series about a Bald Eagle that we are rehabilitating. We have many goals we would like to achieve with this blog series. We will not only give you periodic updates about the bird’s journey through the Wildlife Rehabilitation program; we are also going to talk about the history of eagles in our area, the natural behavior of eagles, and where you can see eagles on your own. We are also going to write about how caring for wildlife at the sanctuary is a community effort. From the police officer that first responded, to the DNR officer that gave the bird a ride here, to the veterinarians at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital who did the surgery, to the staff and volunteers who care for the eagle and hopefully return him/her back into the sky soaring free once again.

This immature eagle was brought into us on Friday, February 12th from the Crivitz area after being hit by a car. Once the bird was reported to the police, the officer contacted the DNR office. The DNR official then drove it to the sanctuary for care. The quick response of the police officer and DNR agent saved this bird’s life: the sooner an injured or orphaned animal can get to a licensed rehabilitator, the better its chances are to return to the wild. When this eagle arrived at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, we did a thorough exam and contacted our veterinarians at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital to have an x-ray done and have his/her wounds analyzed.

This eagle is known as 10R6. It does not have a name, since this is a wild animal and not a pet, which we honor and respect at all times. All of the 4,000+ orphaned and injured animals brought in annually are important, but some, as this eagle, require more extensive care and a longer time with us. From the initial transport, to the first exam, surgery, recovery, flight training, evaluation, to the final disposition, eagles can take months of rehabilitation. Our goal is always to return wildlife back into the wild where they belong, but sometimes that is not possible. For example, there may be complications in recovery, or tendons and muscles do not heal in the precise manner they need to and the bird has trouble flying. When this happens, we try to place an animal with our facility or another facility, or if the animal is suffering and all of our options to relieve the pain have been exhausted, humane euthanasia is performed. Again, our goal is always to release; we do everything we can for every animal that comes through these doors, from the smallest bunny to the largest eagle.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Congratulations to our Senior Animal Keeper

Lori Bankson, our Senior Animal Keeper, was selected by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce as one of the "20+10 People You Should Know" feature in the Bay Business Journal (BBJ) magazine. She was nominated and honored as an individual who has made a significant impact in her field. The criteria includes: accomplishments and contributions, spirit, drive, ambition, innovativeness and creativity, and living and working in Brown County.
Congratulations to Lori from all of the staff!

"All of us are so proud of Lori for being recognized by the Chamber with this prestigious recognition. Lori is tireless in her efforts in helping to rehabilitate animals, plan events, work with volunteers, and be a wildlife awareness ambassador in the community."
-Ty Baumann, Director

If you'd like to read more about Lori and this award go to

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thank you for a successful Frosty Family Fun Night & Gambler's Promotion!

A big thank you to everyone for great success at our Frosty Family Fun Night on Saturday, February 6th! Over 400 people experienced beautiful night hikes, a night tour of our new waterfalls, great music with Good News, yummy s'mores, chocolate dipping, and treats, and fun crafts, including hanging "Cheerio" garland for the Wildlife Sanctuary birds to snack on! All of our Animal Ambassadors loved seeing so many people all night. A big thanks to all of our volunteers for helping us out. We hope to see you next year on Saturday, February 5th, 2011!

Another big thank you to all of you for supporting the Green Bay Gamblers Bat Promotion. With your help, the Gamblers presented us with a check for $1,650! This money will be used to help many, many orphaned and injured wildlife, including bats, to get back into the wild. We look forward to working with the Gamblers in the future-- what a great organization!

Have a great day-- enjoy the beautiful winter weather!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Frosty Family Fun Night is Saturday!

Did you ever wonder what went on at the Wildlife Sanctuary at night? Well here is your chance to see your favorite critters in a whole new "light"! Frosty Family Fun Night is Saturday, February 6th from 5:30 to 8pm here at the Wildlife Sanctuary. You can join your neighbors for a great bonfire and roast s'mores! Hike around the Woodland Building trail and visit the coyotes, deer, otters, bobcats, and maybe even hear the wolves howl! Listen to some great music by Good News, do some fun crafts, and try your hand at our chocolate dipping station! You can even visit our new waterfalls that will be illuminated that night only! At only $5 a carload, the price is right for a fun night out, and all the proceeds go towards our Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary Guild to help put on many programs and save orphaned and injured wildlife! Please call (920) 391-3671 with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lake Michigan Field Trip

By: Ty Baumann, Director - Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

Despite the frigid temperature and brutal icy wind our hardy Bay Area Bird Club members made a birding field trip on December 2, 2010 along the Lake Michigan shoreline starting at Port Washington. Our target bird was a Black-Legged Kittiwake, a small and rather uncommon member of the gull family.

After braving the wind chill for an hour scoping the harbor finding Canvasbacks, Greater Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Common Goldeneyes, plus Greater-black backed and Glaucous Gulls - it was time to warm up, but we weren't giving up. Putting one car near the north breakwater and one car near the river channel we waited and hoped for a showing. The Kittiwake didn't disappoint. Appearing out of who knows where, the bird flew in low over the river and continued to soar making circles around the south gazebo area. We had excellent views and continued to watch this special bird for 10-15 minutes before we left the harbor and continued on the tour.

Our planned route next included a drive along Six Mile Road just north of Holy Cross. We slowed for some Horned Larks and several Rough-legged Hawks. Then, there on the ridge, to the east, was a Snowy Owl. North of the owl we encountered a huge flock of Snow Buntings estimating between 800 -1,000 individual birds. Across from the Harrington Beach State Park entrance we saw a lot of bird activity in the small wood lot and brushy habitat - a little pishing and up popped the Harris’s Sparrow, staying near the road for all eleven of our members to get a good look. At Sheboygan we started on the Blue Harbor Hotel and Convention Center side of the river. Using our binoculars and spotting scopes we scanned through dozens of Common Goldeneyes. Very quickly the Barrow’s Goldeneye was found providing excellent close viewing for everyone. A group of Sheboygan birders we encountered said a Tufted Titmouse was visiting a bird feeder in a nearby neighborhood. After scanning the feeders and bushes the Titmouse flew in directly above our heads. That was fun! On to North Point where a Harlequin Duck was found south of the parking lot diving in the strong waves with Buffleheads and Goldeneyes.

We saw many Rough-legged Hawks between Sheboygan and Harrington Beach, both going south on the highway early and back along the lakeshore. We had Peregrine Falcons in Port Washington and Manitowoc. The ferryboat harbor had lots of gulls but only 1 Greater-black-backed Gull. A Bald Eagle scattered all the rest of the gulls. We ended seeing 47 species on this very cold day. Congratulations to Brian Pierce for a 5 "lifer" day. Our next scheduled fieldtrip is February 6th, which leaves the Sanctuary at 4:00 am. We will be driving to the Three Lakes area and through the Nicolet National Forest concentrating on locating the boreal bird species.