About Wings of Wonder

Ned Wings of Wonder is a a raptor sanctuary and rehabilitation center dedicated to educating, rehabilitating and increasing overall public awareness about wildlife, ecology and environmental issues as they relate to raptors.

We present more than 150 educational programs throughout Michigan and reach more than 20,000 people every year. Our presentations are designed to foster appreciation, understanding, honor and respect for the important role these birds play in a healthy ecosystem. In addition to education, we rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned raptors with the goal of releasing healthy birds back into the wild.

We seek to increase the overall knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation, regulations and educational methods through fieldwork, networking and research.

Rebecca Lessard, Founder and Director


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

Wings of Wonder Board

The wonderful Wings of Wonder board is crucial to supporting the ongoing mission for Wings of Wonder.  Kris Kruid (pictured 3rd from left), President, has been serving WOW since 2007.  She splits her time between Michigan and Montana.  Chris Varner (pictured left next to her husband, Peter Romeo) serves as Secretary.  She lives in Williamsburg.  Jean McLaren (and her husband John Nitschke) serves as Treasurer. She and John split their time between their homes in Maple City and Chicago.