Rebecca Lessard is an internationally respected expert in the field of raptor rehabilitation and education. Her mother was the go-to person for injured or orphaned wild animals, in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, so Rebecca’s formative years were enriched with many wildlife encounters. She obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota and worked a variety of mammal research jobs. In 1988 she and her husband Don gathered up their two young children and moved to northern Michigan. A few years later she had her first interaction with an injured Red Tailed Hawk and it was this ‘raptorian’ experience that forever changed her life direction.

Rebecca and Don earned the required state and federal permits and set up a small raptor rehabilitation program in their back yard. Because of increasing demands this small program continued to grow and in 2001 Wings of Wonder was officially “hatched” as a federally recognized nonprofit organization.

Working with several local veterinary clinics, Wings of Wonder now admits over 80 sick, injured and orphaned raptors each year for rehabilitation. Rebecca, and her family of 11 non-releasable raptors, presents over 150 educational programs annually to schools, camps, libraries, festivals and community events, introducing 10,000 people each year to the wonders of raptors.

Rebecca lives in a home that she and her husband built, deep in the forest and a mile off the beaten path, with her 2 dogs and 2 cats. She is fully aware that her life is ruled by a raptor that weighs less than a stick of butter.

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