Rebecca Lessard with Eoin, an Ambassador Bird

Wings of Wonder raptor sanctuary

Wings of Wonder is a non-profit raptor sanctuary located in Empire, Michigan. Active since 1990, our primary mission is education. Wings of Wonder presents more than 150 educational programs annually throughout Michigan, reaching 10,000 people each year. Our presentations are designed to foster appreciation, understanding, honor and respect for raptors and the important role these birds play in healthy ecosystems.

Wings of Wonder is also a raptor rehabilitation and release facility. Sick, injured and/or orphaned raptors are admitted for treatment, rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild. All raptors are seen and evaluated by our team of participating veterinarians. Our primary goal with rehabilitation is to release healthy and strong raptors back into the wild.

To accomplish these goals, Wings of Wonder has adopted the following missions:

  • To educate the public in wildlife, conservation, ecology, and current environmental issues, with a focus on raptors
  • To rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned raptors with the goal of releasing healthy individuals back into the wild
  • To increase the over-all knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation, regulations, and educational methods through fieldwork, networking and research.

Founder and Director Rebecca Lessard

Rebecca has been a wildlife rehabilitator and educator since 1990. She currently holds rehabilitation permits from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and is also permitted to possess non-releasable raptors for use in educational programs. Rebecca presents more than 150 raptor programs annually to schools, camps, zoos, libraries, community organizations, churches and clubs across northern and central Michigan. These programs reach 10,000 people each year, introducing audiences to the wonders of raptors.

  • In 2012 Rebecca was a Nominee for the Northern Michigan Environmentalist of the year
  • In 2009 Rebecca received the “Person of the Year”award from
    Boy Scout Pack 87 of Traverse City, Michigan
  • In 2007 Rebecca received the Northern Michigan
    "Environmentalist of the Year" award in Education
  • In 2001 Rebecca was presented the President’s Award by the
    Michigan Audubon Society for her continuing work with raptors
Release of a red tailed hawk into the wild

The excitment of releasing a red tailed hawk

Please note that our facility is not open to the public.

Wings of Wonder is the permanent home for our ambassador birds as well as a rehabilitation center for raptors needing medical and convalescent care. Private tours may be arranged by appointment and pre-registration only. For more information please contact us. If you would like to learn more about raptors and meet our ambassador birds, please attend one of the numerous public programs we conduct every year or contact us about scheduling a program for you or your organization. Wings of Wonder does not offer volunteer or employment opportunities at this time.

Wings of Wonder is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is education. We are funded largely by program fees and donations and can always use your help. Your support is very much appreciated and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Donate now!

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