Wild Wings: Promoting Personal Responsibility for the Natural World

Wild Wings: Promoting Personal Responsibility for the Natural World

Mendon Payne showing the way

[Editor’s note. Although not mentioned by George, Mendon Ponds Park inspired the naming of his son]

This weekend I brought my son to Mendon Ponds Park, one of our favorite destinations in Monroe County. This time around we decided to check out the park’s Wild Wings, a not-for-profit educational organization that houses and cares for permanently injured birds of prey which are unable to survive on their own in the wild.

According to one of their staff members, the mission is to teach environmental stewardship through programs featuring their resident raptors as teaching partners. I also found out that the organization travels with their raptors to schools, scout meetings, and many other corporate and private events. Check them out! It’s a really cool place that the whole family will enjoy.

Text and Photography by George Cassidy Payne 


Mural of an owl adorning one of the fences around the facility.

View of the meandering path through Wild Wings at Mendon Ponds Park

“Thousands of birds of prey are injured in the U.S. every year. If their injuries are treatable they are released back into the wild. However, the fate of many of these injured birds is euthanasia because they can no longer survive in the wild on their own. The alternative is placement in an educational facility such as Wild Wings. Among the raptor residents are eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls. Their injuries range from imprinting to gunshots and car accident victims.” -Wild Wings website

Meet and Greet Demonstration ($175.00, 2 hours for $300)Wild Wings will have two educators bring out a variety of birds. Unlike our other live bird of prey demos…this is more informal. The public can approach the educators and not only learn about the animals but also be able to ask questions on a one-to-one level. (taken from Wild Wings website)

Have you noticed any of these guys in your backyard?

Feeders at the facility in Mendon Ponds Park

Live Bird of Prey Demonstration ($175.00)What is a raptor? Why and how are they different from other birds? The audience will be introduced to different families of raptors – an owl, a hawk and falcon. Learn the natural history, biology and physical adaptations of birds of prey. With many hands-on items we explore size, feathers, flying, hunting styles, beaks, feet and talons. (taken from Wild Wings website)


Wood carved sculpture piece at the facility in Mendon Ponds Park

According to their website, they currently house “a Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Kingbird and Red Bellied Woodpecker.”

The facility is open Friday through Tuesday from 10am until 2pm! They are closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Wood carving in the courtyard

Wild Wings does not charge an admission fee but keep in mind that ALL donations and sales go directly to the animals!

Wild Wings Inc
27 Pond Road
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
[email protected]

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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