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KBS Bird Sanctuary: Present and Past PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lisa Duke   
Friday, 05 July 2013 17:30

The Bird Sanctuary has changed quite a lot since its establishment in 1927, and will continue to evolve over time. It is always interesting to look back on the past and see how far we have come and where we need to go in the future. The buildings and enclosures at the Sanctuary have changed over time, often being replaced, and are sometimes quite different from the original structures. Although the structures may change, this mission of the Sanctuary had remained the same over the years offering a safe place for migrant and resident birds and research and education opportunities for MSU students, faculty, and the general public.

Sanctuary's bookstore in the 1960s

The Sanctuary Bookstore in the 1960s

When you visit the Sanctuary, you will enter through our Bookstore and as you will see above, it really hasn’t changed too much. The flooring and display cases are the same as the ones built in 1967 and there are still a lot of interesting bird related items to purchase. The Bookstore today highlights fair trade and locally crafted items along with the wall of field guides, children’s books, and recycled content t-shirts! The newest addition to the Bookstore is the Roost in which you can learn about the different bird species that have been spotted recently at the Sanctuary by using the interactive kiosk. The Roost also has an educational display which features nesting and the different stages in the lifecycle of bird species.

Museum building at the Sanctuary before remodeling

The old Museum 1932, located where the Bridge now stands between the Lagoon and Wintergreen Lake.

The path that you walk between the lagoon and Wintergreen Lake is where this building used to stand. This is the old Museum that was located where the newly constructed bridge now stands. In 1967, the new Overlook Museum was built on the hill above Wintergreen Lake. The current Sanctuary staff is not sure what the original exhibits looked like, but they very well could be the ones that are currently on display! Intern projects the past couple of years have produced some new exhibits highlighting our Purple Martin house and citizen science monitoring efforts and the effects of lead poisoning on Trumpeter Swans.

Old Pheasant pens by the root cellar

The old Pheasant pens in the 1930's

As you walk around the Sanctuary grounds viewing the various birds that are permanent residents, you may notice that the birds of prey and upland gamebird exhibits are relatively modern looking. The bird enclosures are also among the various buildings that have been replaced since their establishment. Housing and husbandry practices have changed since the 1930’s and the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary has adapted to fit those ideals. Above you will see what the Pheasant pens looked like in the 1930’s. Now we have the Leslie E. Tassell Upland Gamebird Display, which is the circular enclosure that has a central room with electricity and water. From the central care room all of the enclosures can be easily accessed for cleaning and feeding.

The old birds of prey enclosures

An old raptor enclosure

The birds of prey enclosures have also been replaced. As you see above, they used to be long wire cages, where today they are individual cages that give each bird ample space and the care staff enough room to work with them. The cages are zoo quality and were built by the local company Corners Limited and the KBS Grounds Department. In order to acquire the necessary federal and state permitting to have birds of prey each enclosure meets specific guidelines for space. Since all of our birds of prey are unable to live on their own in the wild, they have enclosures that fit their physical capabilities.

Next time you visit the Sanctuary, pick up a Historical Walking Tour brochure in the Bookstore to learn more about the history of the property as you explore.