Wildlife

At Blandford, Wildlife is our middle name!

Rescued and teaching others.

Blandford’s Wildlife Ambassadors permanently live at the Center due to severe injuries; they help educate students and give families a close-up view not often seen in outdoor exploration.

Below you’ll find details about our Wildlife Ambassadors, including their names, species type, habitat, diet, conservation management and other fun facts. Stop by Blandford or consider one of our Wildlife Experiences to see our animals yourself.

Hawks & Falcons

There are 28 species of hawks, falcons, kites and eagles in North America. Michigan is home to about 18 species of these birds of prey or raptors. Raptors are predatory birds that hunt and kill other birds and animals for their food. Owls are also raptors, however, they’re not in the same family as hawks & falcons.

General Information

All Hawks and Falcons:

  • are vertebrates. This means they have a backbone or spine.
  • are “endothermic” or warm-blooded. Endothermic animals can regulate their body temperature, allowing them to live in a variety of habitats on Earth.
  • are covered with feathers.
  • have excellent vision for detecting their prey during the day time (diurnal).
  • possess strong grasping feet, sharp talons and hooked beaks made for tearing flesh
Owls

There are over 217 species of owls in the world and North America has 22 of these species. Popular species that are seen in Michigan include eastern screeches, great-horned owls, long-eared owls and barred owls.

General Information

All Owls

  • are vertebrates. This means they have a backbone or spine.
  • are “endothermic” or warm-blooded. Endothermic animals can regulate their body temperature, allowing them to live in a variety of habitats on Earth.
  • are covered with soft, soundless feathers allowing the owls to sneak up on their prey.
  • regurgitate pellets containing hair, exoskeletons and bones of their prey.
Vultures

Did you know that there are only 23 species of vultures in the world? All vulture species are split into 2 groups: Old World vultures and New World vultures. The only species of vulture found in Michigan is the turkey vulture. This vulture ranges from 2 to 4 pounds with a 5.5 to 6 ft wing span.

General Information

All Vultures

  • are birds of prey. This means they have sharp talons and hooked beaks for ripping meat.
  • are “endothermic” or warm-blooded. Endothermic animals can regulate their body temperature, allowing them to live in a variety of habitats on Earth.
  • have bald (or limited feathering on their) heads and necks. This helps the vultures stay clean while eating.
  • are characterized by having a “wider than proportional” wingspan, allowing them soar high in the sky while looking for their meal.
  • are diurnal. This means they hunt or spend most their time awake during the daytime.
  • have a strong immune system which allows them to eat carrion or rotting meat.
Mammals

There are over 4,000 species of mammals in the world and Michigan is home to 65 species of mammals. Large mammals such as bear, deer, moose and coyotes roam our state. Smaller Michigan mammals include flying squirrels, mice and bats.

General Information

All Mammals

  • are vertebrates. This means they have a backbone or spine.
  • are “endothermic” or warm-blooded. Endothermic animals can regulate their body temperature, allowing them to live in a variety of habitats on Earth.
  • are covered in hair or fur.
  • produce milk for their young. This allows them to spend more time teaching their babies important skills for survival.
  • have the presence of 3 inner ear bones (hammer, anvil & the stirrup) within the middle ear
Reptiles & Amphibians

There are over 8,240 species of reptiles in the world! There are 10 species of turtles, 18 species of snakes and only 2 species of lizards, for a total of 30 reptile species in Michigan.

General Information

All Reptiles

  • are vertebrates. This means they have a backbone or spine.
  • are “ectothermic” or cold-blooded. Ectothermic animals cannot regulate their body temperature, meaning they have to seek warmer or cooler habitats depending on what their body needs.
  • are covered with dry scales.
  • typically lay soft-shelled eggs. However, a few reptiles give birth to live young.
  • have the presence of at least 1 permanent lung unlike their amphibian relatives.

All Amphibians

  • are vertebrates. This means they have a backbone or spine.
  • are “ectothermic” or cold-blooded. Ectothermic animals cannot regulate their body temperature, meaning they seek warmer or cooler habitats depending on their body temperature.
  • are covered with moist, permeable skin (molecules and gases can pass through).
  • spend part of their lives in water and on land.
  • lay gelatinous eggs in a moist environment.
  • have gills for part of their lives.