Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Last fall when I was visiting my daughter in Illinois, one of the places we went to was Willowbrook Wildlife Center.  

The Wildlife Center is located in Glen Ellyn.  "It is a native wildlife rehabilitation facility that provides care and medical treatment to injured and orphaned wild animals. It also serves as a resource to teach DuPage County's residents about living in harmony with local wildlife."


It's a great place to take young children to see animals and also to learn more about them.  There is no formal admission fee, but they do ask for a donation.


There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits.  There are windows where visitors can watch the staff feed and care for he animals.  There's also plenty of small animals on display like turtles, snakes, and birds.





This is a large bull snake.  He was quite large, but still a few inches short of one that my husband found in our basement one year!  They are completely harmless, but they can grow quite big!


My favorite part of the indoor exhibit was the small birds.  The large glass cage seen behind my daughter housed some of the birds, the rest are behind smaller glass windows.  When the birds in the large cage saw us, they would start to sing to get our attention.


The center also provides educational programs throughout the year where children and families can learn about birds of prey, mammals, and insects.


Outside of the Visitor Center is a lovely nature path.  We were there in the fall, and although the foliage was pretty, I'm anxious to go back in the summer and see their butterfly garden and flowers.


There was a koi pond in the butterfly garden.


They also had a lovely bridge going over a scenic stream.  It's a lovely place to spend an afternoon.


The outside held all the birds of prey like this falcon.  I think there was also some type of wild cat when we were there too, but he was sleeping at the time so I couldn't get a picture.


If you have small children, it's a great place to take them to get out of the house for a few hours as it's enjoyable for the whole family and it's free (but please put something in the donation box).



Atticus slept through the entire visit to the Nature Center, but maybe when we go back this summer, he'll be more interested.



I see herons everyday at home as there is a lot of backwater from the Mississippi in my neighborhood.  But it was nice to get this close to a heron.  They usually fly away if I get to close at home.


The foliage on the grounds was just breath-taking.  Alethea had a lot of fun walking on the dry, fallen leaves.


Alethea had so much fun she didn't want to get back in the car and go home.  She ran up the front lawn and started to walk on the ledge as if it were a balanced beam.


And now, as promised in last week's travel post, I'm going to announce where I'm going in 2020!  Nothing is finalized yet, but we hope to go to Smokey National Park in the spring, hitting the Columbus Zoo and The Creation Museum/Ark Encounter in the same week.  I don't know if it will be possible to hit all three places in one week .  We're still trying to figure the logistics of it all now.  In the fall we will be going to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.  I am so nervous about bears!  The Smokies have a ton of black bears.  I just watched a documentary on the Smokies on Hulu and did you know there are 1,500 black bears in the park, or two black bears for every mile of the park?  That's a lot to me.  And Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons have grizzlies.  That makes me even more nervous.  I'll definitely be buying bear spray repellant when we hike there.  I'd love any advice on how not to be afraid of the bears so I can enjoy hiking in both places.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

44 comments:

  1. We love visiting these kinds of places. It is fun to learn more about animals and nature.
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. I’ve never been to one before but I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to going back.

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  2. This looks like such a great place to visit! Especially loving the outdoor pictures with those gorgeous fall colors! But having a snake bigger than that one in your basement...I would have died!!

    Your upcoming trips sounds wonderful! We visited the Columbus Zoo many years ago (my hubby is originally from Columbus). A beautiful zoo for sure and it's probably even better now! My daughter would love to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We stopped for a short visit last year on our way home from Myrtle Beach and really enjoyed the views, but didn't have time to do any hiking, only walked up to Clingman's Dome.
    I really want to visit Grand Teton National Park!! Hope you can visit all of these places!

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    1. Well thankfully I was not the ONE who found it! And I’m thankful also that hubby was home to remove it. I’m not sure we will have too much time in the Smokey’s on this trip, just a couple of days. But it’ll give us a taste and hopefully we will return for another visit in the future.

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  3. That is so cool. We have a place in here Hayward, Ca. that is the same. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. It was. That’s great you have a similar place where you live.

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  4. Looks like a nice place to visit, I know your girl grandbaby loved it!! I see the little one was asleep. Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 9 where I leave a comment and share all entries on social media if share option is available, open February 1 to 26.

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    1. Yes it was, and she did! Maybe Atticus will enjoy it on our next visit. Thanks Dee!

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  5. That looks like a really great place to visit! Your photos from your day are awesome and that last smile says it all :)

    Thanks for being a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

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  6. What a fun outing, and Smokey national park will be fabulous too. I can see how the bears would be scary, but you guys are smart about hiking.
    XOXO
    Jodie

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  7. This place looks great - I think it's a nice proposition for longer walk with our little ones :-)

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  8. Your munchkins are adorable! Beautiful photos!

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    1. Well I think so, but I’m a bit biased. Thanks so much!

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  9. What a fun little day trip! And how cute are these little ones?!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  10. It looks like such a fun place to go! I fall foliage is beautiful, but I bet you are right, it is gorgeous in the spring with flowers!

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    1. Yes it was! Hopefully I'll see it in the spring.

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  11. Great post and beautiful photos Amy! It's important to teach children about nature and the amazing creatures God made! I'm so glad there are people who care and that there are places like this to help wildlife rehabilitation.

    ❤️carmen

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  12. Love these photos. Happy Valentine's Day.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  13. Beautiful photos! I really wish I new this place existed when my daughter was younger. She would have loved it!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. Thank you. Yes, this is your neck of the woods too, isn't it? You could still go and enjoy it!

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  14. Looks like a fun place to visit! My boys love animals so anywhere they get to see them is always a fun day out for them! :)

    Hope you're having a great weekend :)

    Away From Blue

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  15. Your grand daughter looks like this is one of "her" places!! So cute. In New Zealand, the worst we would have in a park is a tiny poisonous spider - from Australia would you believe. No scary animals like bears.

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    1. Thank you! That would be nice to be able to hike and not have to worry about animals.

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  16. Such a cutie... and not the reptiles!!
    Happy valentines day!
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    IG #wonky.pots

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  17. I love places like this! I've been to a few wildlife rehab facilities (seen baby cranes and herons and they're worth a trip to see - all legs and hair poofs on their heads), fed baby barn swallows (dry catfood soaked on water, poked down their throats), petted a "teaching" bobcat and dropped off any number of critters that needed help. Definitely leave a donation - many of these places are there because of the goodness of people's hearts and donations. I think it's great that you're introducing Alethea & Atticus at young ages - teach your children well. I think your trip will be fine. Bears don't really want to meet you any more than you want to meet them. Don't go on your trip during mating season, and make noise as you go (I've found that to be effective when working in areas where there may be water moccasins, copperheads and rattlers - pretty much applies to any wildlife, I think). Bear spray...maybe it'll work....maybe it's the hiss. Just point it the right direction. Here's a funny that I remember about determining what kind of bears are in the area:

    Wildlife officials in Alaska are alarmed at the increase in grizzly bear attacks on humans, and they are advising the public to be extremely careful when hiking, fishing, hunting or camping. They also advise people to wear small bells when they walk so they will alert grizzlies to their approach, and also to carry pepper spray in case of a close encounter.
    The officials also say it would be wise to be alert for fresh signs of grizzly bear activity, such as piles of fresh bear poop. Of course, you must be able to differentiate between brown bear and grizzly bear poop, so they offer the following:
    Brown bear poop is usually small, and contains the remains of berries and sometimes squirrel fur.
    Grizzly bear poop is larger, contains small bells, and smells like pepper.

    My sis and her new hubby did the Ark Experience as part of their honeymoon last October. I haven't seen the pictures :/ Have fun and I'll look forward to pictures from the trip!

    Ruth
    VogueFauxReal

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    1. Thanks for all the advice. I read that we definitely have to have bear spray in the Tetons. I’m not sure when mating season is. I’ll have to google it. We will be in the Smokies in the spring and the Tetons in the fall. That is a funny story. Hopefully not true. 😬

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  18. I love this type of place, they always give a lot of fun:D :**Regards

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  19. We've never been to Willow Brook, but I will put it on my list as always looking for kid friendly trips for the grand! Looks like a great day!

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  20. Makes me think of places I took my first grade class on field trips. - Margy

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    1. Yes, I can see that. It would be a great place to take a class.

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