Skegemog Raptor Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established exclusively to care for birds of prey native to Michigan. Our mission consists of three goals: to rehabilitate sick, injured, and orphaned raptors with the goal of returning them to the wild in a fit and healthy condition, to educate the public about conservation and ecology with a focus on raptors, and to participate in research projects that will strengthen our abilities to care for sick and injured birds of prey and our message of environmental conservation. We are permitted through the US fish and wildlife and Michigan DNR to carry out this work.

We look forward to working with the community to improve the lives of these magnificent birds and provide the proper care and treatment for one of our most precious resources.

About Us

Staff

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James Manley
Executive Director

James began his work with raptors in 2006 volunteering and training at Wings of Wonder under the close supervision of founder Rebecca Lessard. He has been involved in education programs, rehabilitation work, and various building projects throughout the years. He has held his own state and federal rehabilitation permits since 2009.

James is a falconer and enjoys many other outdoor activities the area has to offer including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, biking, and camping.

James has a strong passion for raptors and looks forward to providing the best possible care for these magnificent birds.

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Christopher Johnson
Assistant director

Shortly after retiring from the National Park Service in 2015, Chris began volunteering at Wings of Wonder. He received his Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation certificate. For the next 6 years, Chris gained outstanding instruction and invaluable experience caring for and rehabilitating raptors under the tutelage of mentor Rebecca Lessard. Chris earned his own Federal and State permits allowing him to assume for the care of two WOW education raptors (Pearl a red-tailed hawk and Jaeda, an American Kestrel). When Rebecca retired from raptor rehabilitation, Chris joined James Manley, a long time falconer and respected raptor rehabilitator.

Board of Directors

Rebecca Lessard

Rebecca Lessard is an internationally respected expert in the field of raptor rehabilitation and education with over 30 years of experience. She obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota and worked a variety of mammal research jobs.  

Rebecca founded Wings of Wonder, a state and federally permitted 501c3 non-profit raptor center. She is legendary for her educational programming and introduced over 10,000 people each year to the wonders of raptors.

In 2021, she started working with the Little Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to design and create the first tribal eagle aviary East of the Mississippi.

Susan Stamy

Susan Stamy founded the Braveheart Raptor Center near Twin Lakes, MI in 1991. She specialized in caring for birds of prey, or raptors, and is licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s a miracle that these birds are even alive,” she says. “It goes to show just how strong they are ... how strong their will to live is.”

Christopher Johnson

Shortly after retiring from the National Park Service in 2015, Chris began volunteering at Wings of Wonder. He received his Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation certificate. For the next 6 years, Chris gained outstanding instruction and invaluable experience caring for and rehabilitating raptors under the tutelage of mentor Rebecca Lessard. Chris earned his own Federal and State permits allowing him to assume for the care of two WOW education raptors (Pearl a red-tailed hawk and Jaeda, an American Kestrel). When Rebecca retired from raptor rehabilitation, Chris joined James Manley, a long time falconer and respected raptor rehabilitator.

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