When Saturday’s “Off-Season Day” at Open Door Bird Sanctuary rolls around, they will also be introducing a new friend. ODS will be introducing Forest, their new Long-eared owl who comes from a sanctuary in Illinois. The owl is the first of its kind that has lived at the sanctuary. Open Door’s Executive Director Rob Hults says Long-eared owls are not common in this part of Wisconsin and are medium in size, among other unique facts about them.
Hults considers the sanctuary, which gives homes to birds of prey who have suffered injuries that make them unfit to survive in the wild to be fortunate. They were able to offer their on-site services because they are an outdoor facility. Though their outdoor auditorium has to abide by COVID19 mitigation protocols, other operations have remained typical. Off-site bookings are also picking up, which Hults considers great not only for business but also for education.
While it is not yet in-season for the sanctuary, their days they’ve opened in the off-season have been well-received. So much that they scheduled a second one this year for Saturday, the birds will be on exhibit and other opportunities for patrons to have outdoor fun.
Hults describes the organization's mission to be two-fold, providing homes for injured birds and providing natural and environmental education.