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Owls and conservation go hand in hand

Walter C. Crawford Jr., the founder of the World Bird Sanctuary outside of St. Louis, gave six presentations at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, one on Saturday evening and five on Sunday.1 / 2
John and Carol Marnell celebrated by each holding an owl in honor of their anniversary. John is holding the spectacled owl and Carol is holding the tawny owl. Photo by Margaret Ontl2 / 2

Walter C. Crawford Jr. and some of his full time staff of 25 returned to Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center for presentations on both Saturday and Sunday.

Crawford founded the World Bird Sanctuary in 1977 after working at the St. Louis Zoo with the Zoo's Director and Wild Kingdom Star Marlin Perkins. The sanctuary is dedicated to birds of prey.

Crawford always regales his audiences with a blend of humor and serious concerns.

This year was no different, with the crowd laughing as he described various travel experiences including being in the Rose Bowl parade.

His true message is one of conservation and a warning that we may have gone full circle and it may be time to reread Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and react accordingly. Crawford along with Teri Schroer, Laura MacLeod and intern Maud Smits presented four owls, Mia the spectacled owl, Tigger, the tawney owl, Tobin, the European barn owl and Xena the Eurasian eagle owl. The program was so popular CNC added two additional shows on Sunday, bringing the total to six.

See the attached Photo Gallery for more photos from the shows.