Want to see a bald eagle or peregrine falcon up close? Then plan a visit to the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis County. The WBS cares for many kinds of injured and threatened birds of prey. The public is invited to tour the sanctuary and learn more about the birds, their habitats and how to preserve their place in nature.
Location and Hours
The World Bird Sanctuary is located at 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road in Valley Park. That's near the intersection of Interstate 44 and Route 141, next to Lone Elk Park. The sanctuary is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free.
What to See and Do
The World Bird Sanctuary has dozens of exhibits spread out over more than 300 acres. Grab a map when you arrive to find your way around. Some of the highlights include bald eagles, falcons, owls and vultures. Many of the birds are injured and unable to return to the wild. You'll also find more birds and reptiles inside at the Nature Center. Colorful parrots and a giant python are certainly worth a look. The Nature Center also has a gift shop where you can pick up a souvenir to take home.
The Wildlife Hospital
One of the primary missions of the World Bird Sanctuary is to care for injured birds of prey and return them to the wild, if at all possible. This work is done at the state-of-the-art Wildlife Hospital. The hospital and its staff of veterinarians care for more than 300 ill and injured birds each year. The Wildlife Hospital is generally closed to the public, but tours are offered on the first Saturday of the month for a $5 donation.
The World Bird Sanctuary hosts special events during the year to educate visitors about birds of prey. There are Amazing Animal Encounters for kids during the summer. Other popular events include Birds in Concert, a free concert series in August featuring the WBS's in-house band, “The Raptor Project” and the Owl Prowls which start in November.
Another option is to see the sanctuary's bald eagles during the various eagle events held each winter along the Mississippi River. The birds are part of Eagle Days festivities from Grafton to the Chain of Rocks Bridge.