wild teachers

Along with the already-fascinating facts and unique aspects of each species, each of the sanctuary animals has an individual story of hardship and recovery. Is there something you would like to know about one of our wild teachers? Contact us today!


eastern screech owl

Megascops asio

For a tiny owl, Blink can definitely make a mess throwing hay in every direction he can.

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Blink came to Wildlife Associates from a rehab center. He is blind in one eye, having been exposed to pesticides that also left him with seizures. He is a real night owl, but unlike many of the nocturnal animals in the sanctuary, he isn’t willing to come out of his den during the day to go on programs.


california desert tortoise

Gopherus agassizii

The desert tortoise can live up to 50 years, but 95% of that will be spent underground, escaping the temperature extremes of their natural desert habitat.

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Tank was stolen from the wild. He was found wandering with a phone number painted on his back and a hole drilled into the side of his shell where he had been chained up. It is too cold in this area for a desert tortoise, but because has no territory of his own he can’t be released.



Pandion haliaetus

Calypso was named after the ship used by the famous researcher and conservationist Jacques Cousteau, who sought to protect the planet’s waterways.

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Osprey are fish-eating hawks that hunt around bodies of both fresh and sea water. These birds are found on all continents except Antarctica. Ospreys have remarkable sight and are able to distinguish objects and animals through water. Once the food source is located, these birds dive or plunge to catch the fish and then lift it up out of the water.


scarlet macaw

Ara macao

Rubio enjoys playing with toys, but his favorite activity is dancing along when the team plays music.

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Scarlet macaws are native to the humid rainforests of South America. Their vibrant colors serve as camouflage in their natural habitat, allowing them to stay safe and hidden among the different flowers and fruits in the trees. They live in large, social groups that range from 10 to 50 birds. Macaws are monogamous in nature and will pick one other bird as their mate for life.


american kestrel

Falco sparverius

A lot of personality packed into a small package, Wiyaca likes to bob her head up and down, and puff up her chest to appear larger than she is. She seems to thrive in the spotlight.

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The American Kestrel, also known as the sparrow hawk, is actually a small falcon. They hunt by hovering and swooping down on their prey. They hover by rapid beating of their wings rather than by catching thermal air currents, so they can hover even in the still air of a barn.

Wiyaca is a Lakota Sioux name meaning “white feather”. She came to us through a rehab facility. We think she may be an escaped or freed pet, as she was obviously adapted to life with humans.



Cathartes aura

Pugsley and her sister Wednesday were kept illegally as pets until it was discovered that Pugsley had injured her wing. Originally, we thought Pugsley was a male so we were quite surprised when "he" laid an egg!

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Vultures, once thought to belong in the Stork family, are now classified as raptors. These raptors are commonly seen soaring the skies, using their amazing sense of smell to search for carrion. These scavengers have a wide variety of adaptations and behaviors that enable them to eat dead animals without becoming ill.


bald eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Liberty was a victim of a gunshot wound to the wing while just one year old. He is is fondly known as "Bert" til he grows into his name; he enjoys baths in his pool and tearing up boxes.

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The Bald Eagle is the national symbol of the United States. These eagles have their dark brown feathers until they reach maturity at 5 years old. Believed to mate for life, eagles are known for constructing huge nests—the largest recorded was 9.5 feet wide and 20 feet high.