UPDATE OCTOBER 2019
The indoor areas for the cranes and vultures are complete, and the birds will be spending the winter in their new home. The outdoor areas still require some work (we’re looking for volunteer help!), but will be ready for the birds to go outside in the springtime.
Our current sandhill crane and turkey vulture habitats are not adapted to fit the behavioral or physiological needs of migratory species. Both enclosures lack an insulated indoor shelter that can provide enough warmth during harsh Montana winters. What this means is that we have to move Big Bird, Niles, Uncle Fester and Lurch into temporary enclosures in our heated barn over the entire winter season.
Our new migratory bird habitat will be a change for the better. We are constructing a "U" shaped structure that will be insulated and heated for the winter months. Attached to this building are outdoor yards for our sandhill cranes and vultures. This will give our migratory birds a year-round habitat and the ability to go indoors and out depending on weather. Once again, this all-season habitat is a big project that doesn't come cheap. Your contributions will help us achieve the following:
Construct heated indoor enclosures that meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) regulatory standards.
Build outdoor yards that will be suited for flighted and partially-flighted birds.
Landscape both yards to match the habitats cranes and vultures would occupy in the wild.
Create a water feature appropriate for wading birds
Integrate migratory species into education programs year-round to teach our community the importance of these species in the wild and in a changing climate.
Provide a high standard of care for all current and future migratory birds at YWS.