Audubon Community Nature Center Building New Wildlife Habitat

Audubon Breaks Ground for New Wildlife Habitat. Submitted image.

JAMESTOWN – A local nature center has broke ground on a new wildlife habitat.

The Audubon Community Nature Center this month held an informal groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pamela A. Westrom Wildlife Habitat.

For almost two decades, Audubon has been home to Liberty, a non-releasable Bald Eagle that was rescued in Washington state. Every year thousands of visitors enjoy viewing Liberty in her outdoor enclosure and several dedicated volunteers, guided by Thom Armella, provide care for her.

With the support of generous donors, this new building will have an animal care room that is large enough for behind-the-scenes tours and three to four animal enclosures.

The new habitats will be adjacent to Liberty’s enclosure, creating a corridor of wildlife that will significantly expand the visitor experience.

Kim Turner, the staff lead for animal care, is currently training with raptors such as hawks and owls and researching care for these animals in preparation to obtain additional birds.

As well as being on display regularly, these birds of prey will be in-hand, educational ambassadors, which requires a different level of training and permitting than Liberty requires.

“We are so excited about this project and its potential for enriching the connection between people and nature,” said Turner in a statement. “Our planning for this project began in 2019 and it could be spring of next year before our new residents arrive, but we know it will be worth all the time and effort we’re putting into it.”

Once actual construction has begun, Liberty’s enclosure will be blocked off to minimize the stress on her. To accommodate her fans, she has a Facebook page where she will keep everyone up-to-date on her daily routines, what’s new, and how she is feeling about getting some new neighbors.


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