Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Greetings & Winter Break Fun

Our Log Cabin Holiday and The Night Tree programs have been a big hit this week! Education Program Specialist Bev Walborn reported that a squirrel was up on the Log Cabin railing early this morning selecting a seed-coated, orange slice prepared and hung on the tree by the children attending yesterday's Log Cabin programs. He had moved his feast under the tree when we went back out to snap the photo below, right. That's him to the right of the tree trunk.
As we wrap up the Log Cabin programs today, we wish each of you a joyous holiday season with your family. Remember that the Center will be closed Christmas Day, but we'll have lots of fun on tap in the days that follow, including special Winter Break Planetarium Programs on December 26, 27 and 28 and an extra telescope night on the 29th. Hope to see you at the Center before or after Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

American Coot released!

The coot was released Monday, December 10, 2007. The bird had regained its waterproofing and its feathers were in great condition. The bird was released on Lake Erie.

Saw-whet Owl Release a Success!!

The Northern Saw-whet Owl was released on Saturday in the early evening. With a crowd full of people, the owl was gently tossed into the air for its return to the wild. It flew beautifully to the nearest tree and perched on a branch in order to take in the new surroundings. The owl eventually flew away into the night with its second chance at life in the wild.

When the Skies Clear - Look for Mars

In a month that’s already awash in holiday red, December will offer the best telescope views of the Red Planet until 2016! Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is hosting a series of Monthly Skyquest programs in the Walter R. Schuele Planetarium to highlight the close encounter with Mars, including an additional Saturday evening star show and telescope viewing on December 29. The extra evening program is designed to take advantage of the great viewing opportunity, if the weather cooperates!

Of course, the skies are alway clear inside the Walter R. Schuele Planetarium. Check out the latest views of Mars and discover fascinating facts about the fourth planet from the Sun at Here Comes Mars!, presented every Saturday in December at 2 p.m. and on December 15 and 29 at 7 p.m., with free, outdoor telescope viewing (weather permitting) following the evening planetarium programs. The fee for all 2 p.m. shows is $2 per person. At 7 p.m., tickets are $3 per person.

To take a self-guided star hike in December, download and print our Starry Trails Guide and Map on the main Planetarium website page. Bundle up and head out to explore the night sky, with an eye on Mars!

Don't forget, the planetarium staff is adding a series of daytime, family-oriented star shows on December 26, 27 and 28, to accommodate visitors during Winter Break week. Programs will be available at 11 a.m. Noon, 1, 2 & 3 p.m. each day, and admission is just $1 per person.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ferret Helps Collect Log Cabin Wish List Gifts

Our classroom ferret, Tucker, patiently donned a Santa hat to help Wildlife Rehabiltation Specialist Amy LeMonds collect a mountain of gifts from our Log Cabin students this morning. Log Cabin Instructor Bev Walborn sent the Center's Wish List home with her children earlier this month and they responded by generously returning a host of gifts that will help our Wildlife staff care for the animals. From cotton balls to baby food to batteries, the Log Cabin's front porch tree was surrounded with their gifts this morning... and there are donations from other classes still to come! One young student named Dean brought in $15 cash for the Wish List. He told us in his card that, "I helped my mom around the house to earn the money" for the animals. Thanks to all of our classroom kids and parents for supporting the care of more than 100 exhibit and educational outreach animals and hundreds more sick and injured wildlife that come to us for rehabilitation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scholastic Book Sale Through December 20

If books are on your shopping list, you'll find lots of great titles from Scholastic at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Our non-profit Center earns a piece of the proceeds from this Scholastic Book Fair, so you can feel good that you are giving twice! The Book Fair is open during Center hours, 10 - 5 through December 20.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Letter Of Appreciation and a Call To Action!

The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center staff, Board of Directors and program participants wish to express our heart-felt gratitude for the early and generous support to our year-end appeal. As we close out another year teaching an appreciation for our fascinating natural world and rehabilitating sick and injured wildlife at no charge to the public, we are fortunate that our non-profit mission is valued by a community of caring animal and nature lovers.

We are especially grateful this year to have a wonderful incentive to encourage our old friends to give a little more and to invite new friends to join our circle of supporters. The Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation is matching dollar for dollar, up to $500 per person, each new or increased gift to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Annual Appeal. It’s not too late to respond to this exciting Foundation challenge, but time is running short. The deadline to earn the remaining matching funds is December 31, 2007.

We hope all of you who have been touched by our 57-year legacy in the Westside community will consider including a donation to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in your year-end giving. You can even donate online and we'll confirm your eligibility for a match. Thanks again to all of our supporters. Hope to see you at the Center soon!
Happy Holidays!

Larry D. Richardson
Executive Director
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Patrick Mazur
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Board of Directors

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saw-whet Release On for Saturday

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's Wildlife Rehabilitation staff is targeting Saturday afternoon for the release of a rehabbed Saw-whet Owl. This uncommon Ohio owl is ready to return to the wild following rehab for an eye injury. The new target for release is Saturday, December 8 at 4:30 p.m. The late afternoon time accommodates the natural waking cycle of this nocturnal bird. Wildlife staff postponed the release due to heavy snow on Wednesday. Center rehabbers want the bird to have the best possible conditions for hunting and reestablishing itself in the wild during the first 48 hours following its release. The public is invited to witness the return to the wild. If you plan on coming, it's best to call ahead to confirm. You can reach the Center at 440-871-2900. You can also check this space for an update before heading out.
UPDATE: The release was a success! Thanks to all who came to witness this beautiful little owl fly free, especially our friends at WOIO/WUAB-TV-19 And WestLife photographer Larry Bennet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Breaking News:Saw-whet Owl Release Postponed!

Our Wildlife Rehabilitation staff has just made the decision to postpone this afternoon's Saw-whet Owl release due to the heavy snow. We apologize for the late notice and we'll let you know when rehab staffers decide the time is right for a safe release.
Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Can Witness Saw-whet's Return to the Wild

That Saw-whet owl that Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator, Megan Tadiello, and the rehab staff have been working to rehabilitate (see previous entries) is ready to return to the wild. If all goes as planned, the release will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5 at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village. Megan says this release is a great chance for the public to witness the return of a rehabbed animal to the wild. That is, if you can brave this week's wintry weather for the brief time it takes to remove the bird from a carrier and send it winging on its way. If you can't make it to the Center, check back here and we'll try to get some pictures posted following the release. Call us if you want to know more, 440-871-2900 or just drop by the Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Oiled American Coot

This American Coot was found in an oil pond at a steel plant in Lorain County. We gave the coot multiple baths with Dawn dishwashing detergent. We also had to flush its system because it had ingested some of the oil. We did this by inserting a tube into its stomach and using activated charcoal and Pepto-Bismol. The coot is doing well and will be released in the next week once it regains all of its waterproofing capabilities. I also spoke with the steel plant and they assured us that they are currently working with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a way to keep wildlife out of the oil pond.