WI Humane Society's Wildlife Rehab Center
MI Watchable Wildlife Sites
MI Wildife Conservancy
ND Wildlife Federation
SD Wildlife Federation

TimeOut Chicago Wildlife
North American Bear Center
International Crane Foundation
Big Cats
Oddball Animals


Odd Bird


Best Places to See Wildlife in the Midwest

View AnimalTourism.com : THE MIDWEST in a larger map

Click on your state to see what animals are nearby.

Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Minnesota Nebraska Ohio


bear MN
North American Bear Center / Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary
Bears! plus bear expert Lynn Rogers
Sandhill Crane Migration

Half a million cranes rest on the North Platte River on their migration

Wolf Park
Established but innovative wolf sanctuary. Bonus species: bison
parrot Illinois
Harold Washington Park parrots
Exotic green parrots at home on the South Side of Chicago
Aurora Pelicans
Hundreds of white pelicans visit a suburban Chicago lake each spring
Isle Royal
One of the last midwest moose populations. Bonus: red squirrels and wolves
Bat Zone
More than 100 rescued bats from around the world
International Crane Foundation
The only place in the world you can see all 15 species of crane, including the whooping crane
Quad City Bald Eagle Days
Hundreds of bald eagles fish over the Mississippi River
Wild Canid Research Center
Helps breed rare are canines that are dwindling in the wild



basset hound waddle

Illinois Waddle for Great American Basset Rescue
Great American Basset Rescue marches hundreds of bassets down Mazon Avenue. The dogs are part of Dwight's annual Harvest Days festival, which is the third week in September.
GABR has rescued more than 3,000 bassets since 1997. map »
white squirrel
White Squirrels of Olney, IL
Olney, IL is one of several towns known for its white squirrels. The 200-some Olney squirrels are albino and can be found in Olney City Park and Millers Grove. Olney City Park Office, 502 White Squirrel Cir, Olney, IL
Harold Washington Park Monk Parrots - Chicago, IL
Monk parakeet nests have been spotted all around the University of Chicago area and Jackson Park.
The parrots living in Harold Washington Park were the ones that convinced the late Mayor Washington, who used to live on the park, to give them a reprieve from state agriculture officials who wanted to exterminate them. Giant nests are easy to spot. Hyde Park Blvd. and 53rd Street
Elk Preserve at Busse Woods
A small herd of elk, this town's namesake, roam in a large fenced in pen in Busse Woods. Visitors are scolded not to feed the elk, but often offer the animals carrots. Map »
Big Run Wolf Ranch
The Big Run Wolf Ranch is a federally licensed non-profit educational facility. John and Julie Basile, a biology teacher, have rescued wolves, a black bear, a skunk and other animals from death. They now educate the public at school events or special open houses. 
14857 S Farrell Rd, Lockport, IL (815) 588-0044
Map »
Volo Bog Bat Barn
An old barn at Volo Bog Natural Area is the largest nursery colony of little brown bats in Illinois. About 2,000 fly out at dusk. Summer programs.
28478 West Brandenburg, Ingleside, IL (815)344-1294 Map »




Wildlife Prairie State Park

Just outside Peoria, the Wildlife Prairie State Park has a lot more for animal watchers than the typical state park. The focus here is on native wildlife. A herd of 18 bison wander a huge enclosure. Big groups of elk and wolves (in their own enclosure) roam, too. They move to a winter pasture so their summer place can recover. Their areas are big, but not so big you can't see them. And the bison come by the viewing stand to get fed.
Cougar, badger, lynx, otter and assorted nonreleasable raptors, including eagles, liver here too.
The park is closed most of the winter, except for members.
3826 N Taylor Rd., Hanna City, IL (309) 676-0998

animal assortment

Critter Camp

Critter Camp takes in all the small odd-ball pets that people get without thinking it through and gives them a permanent sanctuary. You can set up an appointment for up to 6 people and visit 20 ferrets, a kinkajou, fenec fox, degus, parrots, turtles, sugar gliders and everything else. You can either donate or do some volunteer work to visit.
824 Church St., German Valley (near Rockford), IL (815) 266-1342


River Trail Nature Center

The River Trail Nature Center keeps native wildlife that has been injured and can no longer live in the wild. The population constantly changes. You're likely to see some birds of prey and maybe a fox.
3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook, IL (847) 824-8360

Starved Rock Eagles

 Starved Rock State Park is the The closest big bald eagle viewing site to Chicago. Less than two hours from the city, you can see eagles fishing along the Illinois River in the winter.
In late January on Eagle Watching Weekend, you can see the eagles from the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center across the river with scopes set up by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Raptor Center and the Starved Rock Audubon.
Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, 950 N 27th Rd, Uninc La Salle County, IL (815)667-4054

Read Blog Post About Visiting

weird fish

Peoria Flying Carp

Asian carp, imported to eat algae off catfish in farms down south, broke free and invaded the Mississippi River and its tributaries. These carp, which can weigh up to 100 pounds, eat near the surface and sometimes jump out of the water en masse.
The Fish and Wildlife service recently held a conference on flying carp in Peoria, a known hotspot. Their survey of the Peoria Pool--the Illinois River between s Starved Rock State Park to Illinois River Mile 223--has seen invasive carp numbers climb. In 2007 they found 236 bighead and silver carpand 60 silver “flying” carp jumped in the survey boat.
Around Peoria people have taken to shooting and bowhunting the carp.


Lambs Farm

Lambs Farm lets adults with developmental disabilities work at a 72-acre farm campus. Taking care of the animals in the petting zoo is just one of the jobs they learn to do.
14245 W Rockland Rd, Libertyville, IL (847)362-4636


Quincy Bald Eagles

Bald eagles are attracted to the open water below Dam 21 in Quincy. In January rangers come out with scopes to answer eagle questions.
Quincy Ranger Field Station (217-228-0890)


Quad City Bald Eagle Days
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs eagle watches at the Mississippi River Visitor Center as part of the Quad City Bald Eagle Days each February. The Corps sets up scopes and you can even watch the eagles from inside.
Eagles fish near dams in the area because there is no ice below the dams.
The festival also includes indoor bird demonstrations at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave, Rock Island.
The Welcome Center is off Rodman Avenue at Lock and Dam 15 on Arsenal Island, Rock Island. (309) 794-5338.
The Quad-City Times also recommends these sites:
Lock and Dam 14 at Pleasant Valley, Iowa and Hampton, Ill
Sunset Park in Rock Island. Credit Island in Davenport.
Bald Eagle Appreciation Days Keokuk
Hundreds of bald eagles flock to Keokuk Iowa's dam 19 to fish in the winter. Each January the town holds Bald Eagle Appreciation Days. According to Clay Steele in Iowa Source, about 400 to 700 eagles are drawn to area because there is no ice below the dam so it's easy to fish.
(319) 524-5599
map »



Hitchcock Nature Area Hawkwatch, Honey Creek, IA
The Hitchcock Nature Area hosts a Hawkwatch each fall from September through December.
According to Nebraska Raptor Recovery, volunteers are out each weekend.
September: Turkey Vultures, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, American Kestrels, and Ospreys.
October through December (the day of and after a cold front are best) Red-tailed Hawks,  Sharp-shinned Hawks, Northern Harriers.
November and December: Bald Eagles Watchers are on the Lodge deck, Badger Hill on the Badger Ridge Trail and the Overlook in bad weather.
27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA (712) 545-3283 Map »

Iowa MacBridge Raptor Project

The MacBride Raptor Project at the University of Iowa rehabilitates 150-200 birds each year. No open visiting hours, but you can volunteer.
They also offer tours at the MacBridge Nature area, a fall hawkwatch and banding events.
2093 Mehaffey Bridge Rd NE

Solon, IA 52333
(319) 624-2452






Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Elk and Buffalo - Iowa
Elk and Buffalo roam at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, which the Friends of the Prairie Learning Center helps maintain.
Prairie City, IA (515) 994-3400




Wolf Park - In
Wolf behavioral biologist Erich Klinghammer founded Wolf Park in 1972 as a nonprofit to research wolves and educate the public about them.  Wolf Park is open to the public during summer, including Saturday night wolf howls.
1.5 miles north on Jefferson/Harrison Street from State Road 225
Battle Ground, IN, (765) 567-2265 map »
Wild Winds Buffalo Preserves - IN
Wild Winds Buffalo Preserves observes Native traditions and offers tours of their buffalo herds. You get to drive out in the pasture in a truck. Right off Route 80.
6975 N Ray Rd, Fremont, IN (260) 495-0137
map »
Muscatatuck NWR River Otters - IN
You have a good chance of seeing river otter at the Muscatatuck
National Wildlife Refuge. The otters were re-introduced in 1995 from Louisiana and can sometimes be found on Mutton Creek. The Indiana Department of Fish and Wildlife released 303 otters over five years at 12 sites and they spread to 35 counties. 12985 E Us Highway 50, Seymour, IN (812) 522-4352 map »
exotic shelter

Black Pine Animal Park

Black Pine Animal Park gives resuced and retired exotic animals a home. They house a large variety of big cats, birds, a few monkeys and bears and even a coati and a kinkajous. Your visit (during the summer) helps pay for the care of these 45 species.
1426 W. 300 N., Albion, IN (260) 636-7383


Indiana Bats


The Wyandotte Caves house 32,000 Indiana Bats, more than 10% of the American population.
7315 S Wyandotte Cave Rd

Leavenworth, IN (812) 738-2782

Spring Mill State Park houses little brown bats, big brown bats, eastern pipistrelles and other types of bats in its caves. 3333 State Rd. 60 East Mitchell, IN




Red Wolf Sanctuary

The Red Wolf Sanctuary, started in 1979, now has a lot more than wolves. They have wildcats, raptors and bears.
Only one of 14 wolves is a red wolf hybrid; the rest are gray wolves.
The center moved to bigger quarters in Rising Sun.
3027 State Route 262
, Rising Sun, IN (812) 438-2306

Lake MonRoe (IN) Eagle Watch Weekend
Fans consider Lake Monroe, just south of Bloomington, to be the best place to watch birds and eagles in Indiana.
Eagles were released here in 1985-89. Only a few pairs nest here year-round. More than 100 are typically spotted in November, January, February and March.
In February there's Eagle Watch Weekend with plenty of guided bus tours. BirdCountry has a Eagle Watch Weekend 4850 South State Road 446, Bloomington, IN (812) 837-9546

Cheyenne Bottoms, KS

Cheyenne Bottoms is a mid-point rest stop for 45% of migrating birds in the Western Hemisphere. Whooping cranes, Sandhill cranes, pelicans, and are among the 320 species spotted here.That's why the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network named Cheyenne Bottoms of an important site for the whole hemisphere, the only one in the midwest. They count 619,047 birds for the spring and 273,308 for the fall. The state keeps an excellent calendar of when to expect each species. The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is nearby and can be reached on the Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway.
56 NE 40 Road, Great Bend, KS (620) 793-3066



Isle Royale Wolves & MOOSE - MI
Isle Royale National Park has gray wolves that are believed to have walked over an ice bridge some time after 1940. The wolves are hard to see. The wolves depend on the island's moose and both populations have been hit hard by ticks. The  predator-prey relationship has been studied for 50 years.
Isle Royale is only accessible by boat. Ferries come from Houghton and Copper Harbor, Michigan and Grand Portage, Minnesota.
(906) 482-0984
map »
Bat Zone - Mi
The Bat Zone takes care of 100 rescued and unreleasable bats from around the world, as well as a sloth, flying squirrel and other animals.
The Bat Zone is part of the Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills, MI (248) 645-3232

Grateful Acres - MI

Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary is a permanent home for what they call misfit large farm animals, small exotics, parrots, rabbits, chickens, and a tortoise called "Gwennie." On summer weekends the animals get together for a petting zoo.
2108 102nd Ave, Otsego, MI

Seney NWR Eagles (MI)
The Seney National Wildlife Refuge, near Sault Ste Marie on Michigan's UP, has bald eagles and occasional golden eagles.
You may also see osprey, harrier or Sandhill Crane.
The refuge gives tours to see the elusive, tiny Yellow Rail, which breeds in the area.
13-lined ground squirrels are present, but rare. Black bear and Canadian lynx live here, too. Moose liver here, but you're more likely to see tracks than animals.
1674 Refuge Entrance Rd., Seney, MI (906) 586-9851

Whitefish Pt Bird Observatory
The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan just across Lake Superior from Canada, is one of the best birding spots in Michigan.
In January and February the Audubon site gives winter tours that include bald eagles. Other common species are  rough-legged hawk, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, snowy owl and pileated woodpecker.
The Observatory has frequent owl banding events and watches.

16914 N Whitefish Point Rd., Paradise, MI (906) 492-3596 Map »
Lowell, Michigan Eagles
People have reported seeing eagles in Lowell, Michigan for years. Eagle Watch of Western Michigan points to this bend in the River, just north of 91 and Burroghs St. NE. Others point to the area just south of Lowell where the Flat and Grand Rivers meet.
In 1978, bald eagles were classified as endangered in the lower 48 states--except Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, and Oregon, where they were called threatened.

red squirrel


Isle Royal

Isle Royale National Park is home to its own species of red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus regalis, or the Isle Royale Red Squirrel, separated from the mainland squirrrels by 14 miles of water, evolved into a smaller, less red subspecies.They are the most common and most chatty animal on Isle Royale.
Isle Royale is only accessible by boat. Ferries come from Houghton and Copper Harbor, Michigan and Grand Portage, Minnesota.
(906) 482-0984



Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary - MN
The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary allows visitor the chance to see 80 local black bears from enclosed viewing platforms. Run by the American Bear Association, the sanctuary allows you to see wild--not rescued--bears.
Take Country Rd. 23 west from Orr, MN,  13 miles, then go left to Rt. 514 and look for the signs and the gravel road entrance.
(218) 757-0172 map »
North American Bear Center - MN
The North American Bear Center allows visitors to see and learn about bears, some in intensive workshops. The Bear Center and biologist Lynn Rogers  rescue, rehabilitate and when possible release bears. They also conserve bear habitat, educate the public about the exaggerated sense of danger that surrounds bears and try to reduce human-bear conflicts.
1926 Highway 169, Ely, MN (218) 365-7879 map »
International Wolf Center - MN
The International Wolf Center has daily programs on wolves. You can  meet ambassador wolves, attend seminars or having a learning vacation. Reservations required. 800-ELY-WOLF (800-359-9653) 1396 Hwy 169 Ely, MN map »
National Eagle Center, Wabasha, Mn
Bald eagles come to Wabasha, Minn., south of St. Paul, for the winter and some stay all year. The National Eagle Center has educational programs and a viewing area to see eagles on the river. They also rehab injured eagles and keeps three that can't make it in the wild.
The resident eagles would like your donated fish.
The Center offers these tips on seeing eagles nearby:

South of the Eagle Center:  An 11-foot eagle nest is in a cottonwood tree in St. Mary's Cemetery about 15 miles south of Wabasha on Route 61.
North of the Eagle Center:  On highway 61 up to St. Paul there are several pull-outs to see eagles. They fish in Lake Pepin.
152 Main St W, Wabasha, MN (651) 565-4989 map »

prairie chicken

Bluestern Prairie Chickens

The Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area attracts the greater prairie chicken (a Minnesota species of 'special concern') to dance on the prairie in  by the State). You need to make reservations with the Nature Conservancy to use the blinds in April. Sandhill cranes also visit the preserve.
from Moorhead 11 miles E on US Hwy 10, then 1 mile S on MN Hwy 9, then 1.5 miles E on 17th Ave. S to parking lot.
15337 28th Ave S
Glyndon, MN Get Directions
(218) 498-2679


Marsh Lake, MN

White pelicans nest at Marsh Lake, which is part of Lac qui Parle State Park. The once common bird was wiped out completely in 1868. A century passed before a new colony was discovered on Chase Lake in 1968. The Big Island colony has seen 10,000 birds at once. They arrive in mid-April, engage in a courtship dance. According to photographer Dominique Braud, "one female and several bachelor males fly in large circles, riding the thermals over the island during the hot hours of the day." Most eggs are layed by early May, but stragglers go on for a month. Pelicans lay two eggs on the ground on nests close to each other.
About 1/2 mile north of Watson on U.S. 59 and Hwy 7, then west on Chippewa County Road 13. (320) 734-4450



University of Minnesota Raptor Center
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine treats injured raptors, trains vets and does raptor research. They also have public education programs and keep many non-releasable eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. They treat 800 birds a year. They have a raptor program weekends at 1.
1920 Fitch Ave., St Paul, MN (612) 624-4745 Map »


Wild Canid Survival & Research Center - MO
Wild Canid Survival & Research Center at Washington University's Tyson Research houses rare canines that are dwindling in the wild. Wolves from the US include the Red Wolf and the Mexican Gray Wolf. The center also studies African Wild Dogs, the Swift Fox, the Iranian Gray Wolf and the Maned Wolf.
Tours year-round--except around April when the canines have pups.
Center Wild Canid Survival & Research Center PO BOX 760 Eureka, MO 63025
From HWY 270 take I-44 west to Beaumont/Antire Rd (exit 269). The center is north of the Hwy. (636)-938-5900 map »
Missouri Eagle Day

Missouri worked hard to reinstate the bald eagle, reintroducing young eagles from 1980 to 1991. As of 2006, the state had 123 nesting pairs, 150 young eagles and about 2,000 winter eagle residents.
The eagles are mainly around Truman Lake and Table Rock Lake and along the Mississippi and Osage Rivers. They nest in sycamore trees. In the winter they are looking for non-frozen water to fish.
Missouri hosts a state wide Eagle Days and provides a map of likely viewing sites, where there will be help spotting.
2007-8 Eagle Days Brochure If you see an eagle nest in Missouri, you can report  to the Corps of Engineers at (660) 438-7317 ext. 1223 or to the Missouri Dept. of Conservation at (660) 885-6981.

Branson, MO Eagle Watch
Just outside country music theatre capital, Branson, bald eagles spend the winter. You can view them on the river from downtown, the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery or Table Rock State Park.
During the state-wide Eagle Days, spotters and guides will be out to help.
Table Rock Lake is one of the best places in the state to see them. They nest here in the winter. You may want to hire a guide.
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Eagles, St. Louis
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, which crosses Mississippi River into Illinois in St. Louis, is one of the best places to see bald eagles in Missouri.
The old 1929 iron bridge now just carries walkers and bikers. Formerly part of Route 66, the bridge has a curve in the middle and provides excellent river views. Below is a dam and above is the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.




Onondaga Cave State Park hosts bats you can see on cave tours. 7556 Hwy. H, Leasburg, MO
(573) 245-6576
white squirrel
Marionville, Missouri is Home of the White Squirrels



Rowe Sanctuary Sandhill Crane Migration - NE
Each spring half a million Sandhill Cranes stop over in Nebraska for a month on the Platte River between Kearney and Grand Island. They fatten up on discarded corn on their way up to Canada. The premiere viewing site is Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary outside of Kearney. Reservations (available starting at the beginning of the year) are required for the dawn and dusk viewings  March-April.
The Nebraska Game Commission lists other sites, including the Ft. Kearney Historic Site down the road. Plenty of guides offer tours, including Elderhostel.
44450 Elm Island Rd, Gibbon, NE (308) 468-5282 map »
prairie chicken
Prairie Chickens Taylor Ranch - NE
The one public "lek" to view prairie chickens is at the Taylor Ranch, near Grand Island, Nebraska. Birders come for the raucous mating displays  in March through May. Nebraska Birding Trails advises: "Active prairie-chicken leks can be located by driving this area around sunrise and stopping every few hundred yards or so to listen for their "booming" from mid-March into May."
To reach Taylor Ranch, take Interstate-80 exit No. 311, drive north on the Highway 281 for 9 1/2 miles then go left (west) on Highway 2 for almost four miles then right (north) on 60th Road until you reach a stop sign (about 2 1/2 miles). Then turn left (west) on One R Road and go one mile. Stop there, pull over to the right side and watch the hills directly north. +41° 0' 20.16", -98° 28' 5.52"
map »
Ft. Randall Dam (ND) Eagles
Several hundred bald eagles may spend the winter at the Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge, which gets far less if it's a mild winter. But you can't go there. It's closed to the public to protect the birds. What you can do is see them fish in the unfrozen waters below the Ft. Randall Dam, which is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
USACE Fort Randall Project
U.S. Hwy 281 & 18, 399 Powerhouse Rd., Pickstown, SD (605) 487-7845


Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Buffalo now roam in both the south and north units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Once wiped out, the park took in 29 bison from the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska in 1956 and eventually divided them among the units. Now 200-400 live in the bigger south unit and 100-300 live in the north. The park controls the population.
South Unit (701) 623-4466
North Unit (701) 842-2333
Paddlefish at Fort Buford State Historic Site
Paddlefish, an ancient species up to five feet long and weighing 100 pounds,  can bee seen at the Fort Buford Historic Site, near where the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers meet. The number of paddlefish has been decreasing in recent years, so the fishing season has been closing early.
15349 39th Lane NW, Williston, ND (701) 572-9034 map »
Prairie Dogs at Sullys Hill National Game Preserve
Black-tailed prairie dogs were introduced to Sullys Hill in 1975. The preserve, which was originally a National Park, has an annual birding and nature festival. Bison, elk and white-tailed deer were re-introduced in 1917 and 1918. The bison herd is kept at under 30, about the same number as the elk. White pelicans are common in spring and summer. You may also see tundra swan, avocet or harrier.
Take 57 south 13 miles from Devil's Lake, turn south on BIA-6. (701) 766-4272 Map »

Wallhalla--Moose Captial of North Dakota

Walhalla is the Moose Capital of North Dakota. You may see them in the Pembina Hills Wildlife Management Area northwest of town, the Walhalla Country Club or the Jay Wessels WMA south of Walhalla. The Pembina Hills were created by a gorge from the Pembina River. Pembina also has the state's only naturally occuring (not reintroduced) elk herd.


Chase NWR

Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge has one of biggest nesting colonies of white pelicans in the country. In 2007, they counted 22,524 birds, down from 34,604 the year before.
Pelicans were spotted at the lake as early as 1863 and were nearly hunted to extinction. By 1905 there were only 500. In 1908 Teddy Roosevelt made Chase Lake the 15th National Wildlife Refuge.
From April to September you need a permit to enter the refuge to see the pelicans.
5924 19th St SE, Woodworth, ND (701) 752-4218


Westie Walk

Two cousins started WestieWalk, a big walk for Westies that benefits breed rescue and research into Westie diseases. In 2009, the walk will be Oct. 10. Two cousins started WestieWalk, a big walk for Westies that benefits breed rescue and research into Westie diseases. In 2009, the walk will be Oct. 10. Friendship Park
138 Oklahoma Ave., Gahanna, OH (614) 475-9206 (west of Columbus)

big cats
Noah's Lost Ark
Noah's Lost Ark gives permanent shelter to ltos of big cats that survived the exotic pet trade. Cougars, bobcats, lions, servals and even one caracal live here. 
Bonus animals: lemur, bear, monkeys, donkeys Open for tours in summer only
8424 Bedell Rd Berlin Center, OH 
prairie chicken

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary takes ina huge variety of injured and orphaned birds, from big raptors and tiny songbirds. Some of those who can't survive in the wild get to stay on as educators. Field trips and individuals visit the 72-acre facility.
Tues-Sat 10-4, Sun 1-5. For a quarter you can feed the songbirds a handful of mealworms..
3774 Orweiler Rd., Mansfield, OH 419-884-4295 (between Columbus and Cleveland)


farm animals

Happy Trails Farm Sanctuary

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary takes in horses, ponies, goats, sheep and other farm animals seized by humane officers. They also take horses from the Amish. They have regular events, but not visiting hours. 5623 New Milford Rd, Ravenna, OH 44266

big cat

Butternut Farm and Wildcat Sanctuary

Butternut Farm and Wildcat Sanctuary is a non-profit sanctuary for rescued wild cats. The Sanctuary hopes to dissuade the public from getting exotic cats as pets. Many former pets--including lynx, mountain lion and serval--live here. Call to make an appointment to visit or volunteer.
13740 Blamer Rd., Johnstown, OH (north of Columbus)

dogs that swim

Dock Dogs Championship

For the last 10 years Dockdogs.com has turned the hobby of dogs of jumping into water into a sport. After events around the country, the national championship proves who can leap the farthest or highest off a dock.
For 2009 the Cabella's contest is in Mason, Ohio October 16-18. (near Dayton)



Woofstock is an all-day dog festival with a 1.5 mile walk with pledges, a blessing of the animals and lots of contests and displays. It raised $71k in 2008 to benefit the Geauga Humane Society. The fest is held at the Holden Arboretum., Holden Arboretum
9500 Sperry Rd., Willoughby, OH (near Cleveland)





International Crane Foundation - WI
The International Crane Foundation is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including the extremely rare Whooping Crane. The center supports cranes with captive breeding and reintroductions and by protecting and lobbying for ecosystems.
Guided tours are 10, 1, and 3--every day in the summer and on weekends for the two months before and after summer. E11376 Shady Lane Rd (Just east of Route 12), Baraboo, WI (608) 356-9462
map »

Necedah NWR

The Necedah National Wildife Refuge in central WI is the summer, nesting home to an amazing flock of whooping cranes. The cranes are a success story of wildlife agencies across the eastern US: they were raised by humans in crane costumes, then taught the migration route by an ultralight plane. A FWS pamplet suggest trying the Rynearson Wetlands trail and tower to spot the cranes, though Birders World says they're shy and really hard to see even if you're on one of the roads closed to the public. In late September the refuge has a Whooping Crane & Wildlife Festival. In August you may get a spot in a blind to see the whooping cranes learning to fly. W7996 20th Street West Necedah, WI 608-565-2551


WI Big Cat Rescue

Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue takes in lions, tigers and leopards that have survived either the exotic pet trade or animal entertainment industry. Photographer Jeff Kozlowski has taken in 7 lions, 16 tigers and 3 leopards. WI Big Cat Rescue is a non-profit and USDA-licensed rescue and educational center. Open Daily 10-6 unless it's too hot. (608) 524-LION (5466)
305 Pine St., Rock Springs, WI 

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best birding sites in the midwest. Every spring there's the Horican Marsh Bird Festival, which includes tours by boat, bus and foot. In the fall this migration hot spot attracts 200,000 Canada Geese. W4279 Headquarters Rd., Mayville, WI (920) 387-2658

Sandhill Wildlife Area - WI

The 9,000 acre Sandhill Wildlife Area has a tiny herd of 15 bison in a 260-acre enclosure along the Trumpeter Trail. The original 12 bison were donated by farmer Wallace Grange, who originally owned the land.
Wisconsin manages the herd by selling off 2-4 bison each year.
1715 Hwy X, Babcock, WI, (715) 884-2437

Cassville (WI) Bald Eagle Days
Cassville, WI, sits right on the Mississippi River so it's easy to see bald eagles here in the winter. Check out Dam 10. Hundreds The town celebrates Bald Eagle Days in late January. Nearby Nelson Dewey State Park is a good place to look from, too.
Prairie du Sac & Sauk City Eagle Watch Wisconsin
Each winter eagles turn up in Prairie du Sac and Sauk City. The Prairie Bluff Eagle Council has programs at the local high school on the third weekend in January. 
The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council provides this handy map of good viewing sites and where you shouldn't go to avoid disturbing the eagles.
The easiest spot is by Water and Washington Streets.
(800) 683-2453
Sandhill Wildlife Area - Outdoor Skills Center
Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center offers classes on tracking porcupines in the winter. They try to live trap them.
1715 County Highway X, Babcock, WI (715) 884-2437
Map »








Americans spend far more time and money going to see wildlife than they are hunting it. These are figures about dollars spent in each state on the various animal-related outdoor pastimes. These are the latest figures fom the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which does a survey of fishing, hunting and wildlife-related activities every five years.




Fishing % Hunting % Wildlife Watching %
TOTAL U.S. 29,962,000 13 12,534,000 5 71,0068,000 31
1,032,000 11 272,000 3 2,359,000 24
IN 741,000 15 256,000 5 1,824,000 38
IA 447,000 19 213,000 9 1,111,000 48
KS 370,000 18 195,000 9 787,000 37
MI 1,104,000 14 722,000 9 2,947,000 38
MN 1,143,000 28 540,000 13 1,946,000 48
NB 192,000 14 105,000 8 439,000 32
ND 105,000 21 85,000 17 134,000 26
OH 1,286,000 14 482,000 5 3,342,000 38


95,000 16 89,000 15 266,000 44
WI 1,028,000 24 654,000 15 1,711,000 39



Wildlife Watching
North Dakota

Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 2006



Chicago Audubon

Birding.com Listings







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South Dakota


Illinois Audubon Society Kane County Audubon
Lake-Cook Audubon Society (N IL Lake County Audubon
Online Guide to Indiana Birding Wisconsin Society for Ornithology








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