The familiar “peent” of the woodcock has already been heard in the fields; you can hear the barred owls calling in their mates with their “whoo cooks for you, whoo cooks for you all” courtship calls; squirrels have been chasing each other up and down trees; and the familiar scent of skunk can be found on the breeze. These sounds of love and courtship are a precursor to the baby season that is quickly approaching. Join the Center for Wildlife at its annual "Make Way for Ducklings" event with this year’s theme of “Nature is In Our Nature; Building and Environment of Empathy”and learn how to live cohesively with our wild neighbors so as to benefit us all.
The Make Way for Ducklings event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, March 31 at the Wentworth Greenhouses at 141 Rollins Road in Rollinsford, N.H.
Though we care for wild animals all year round, we are gearing up for our busiest season of the year. This is the time of year when our work begins to focus on welcoming interns for the spring and summer seasons, fielding 60-plus calls daily from concerned wild animal rescuers, and admitting 20-plus new injured and orphaned wild animals each day. “With songbirds migrating back to our region, native turtles navigating roadways to reach their ancestral nesting grounds, and mammals searching desperately for suitable nesting sites, we hope to spread awareness and promote stewardship and conservation with this event. With breeding and nesting season starting, we look forward to educating the public on how they can best help our wild neighbors.” said the Center for Wildlife’s Education and Outreach Department Lead, Sarah Bunker Kern. The Make Way for Ducklings event will help families and community members realize these challenges and discover easy ways to make the spring season safe for local wildlife.
We are focusing our education programs this year on combating the growing trend in the decline of empathy in our society. We are so removed from nature, from our artificial lights in our homes to our screens, from traveling in our cars, our radios and televisions drowning out the alarm calls of squirrels, to our highways and fences dividing ancient habitats, we see nature as “other” instead of as part of us. We are all connected through our need and use of resources such as water and shelter, and we share the air we breathe. As humans, we tend to fear what we do not understand. We spend our days isolated from nature as we go from work or school inside to being inside at home. We do not connect with and enjoy the benefits of the world outside our walls, and therefore do not place value on it or feel a part of it. But the beauty of nature is that it is everywhere and we need only take the first step. Come and learn about our wild neighbors, how they care for their families and how we can care for them! Programming, hands-on activities, nature crafts, and more will focus on the challenges our wild parents and their young may face, and how we can help and be kind and conscientious neighbors, mutually benefiting each other.
This year’s event will include:
— Live animal ambassador presentations - “Walk a Mile in My Paws!” from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m. and “Fly a Mile in My Feathers” from noon to 12:40 p.m.
— Raffle prizes including the chance to have a private visit with one of our animal ambassadors and phenomenal raffle baskets.
— Activities like face-painting, owl pellet dissection, kids crafts and photo opportunities with our ambassadors.
— Homemade baked goods and other refreshments.
We will also be hosting a Wild Baby Shower! Participants that bring an item from our wish list will have the opportunity to have a family photo taken with one of our wild animal ambassadors.
No registration is required, though the suggested donation of $5 for admission helps to make events like these possible. Last year over 200 community members attended.