Animal Ambassadors

The live animals at Audubon Community Nature Center are part of the talented education team. They help in educational programs, both on and offsite, that foster the connection between people and nature.


Support the Animals

Meet the Animal Ambassadors

Learn a little about the reptiles, amphibians, and birds that help connect people to nature through educational programs and exhibits at ACNC.

Cricket the American Kestrel

Cricket was found outside of Erie, PA. He suffered a broken wing after being hit by a car. The bones did not
heal properly. Cricket can fly, but is not strong enough to migrate or hunt in the wild.

Fun Fact: Cricket catches and snacks on insects in his aviary.

Soren the Red-tailed Hawk

Soren was found in Highland, Michigan in November 2021. She was thin, missing her left hallux talon, and we later discovered after getting x-rays done that she has been shot. While able to fly, Soren cannot be released because the missing talon is vital for hunting.


Fun Fact: Soren is a very curious bird and has been observed chasing leaves in her aviary.

American Toad

American Toads are common here at Audubon. Males are smaller than females. Toads prefer to eat worms, crickets, and sowbugs. Toad “warts” are really just bumpy skin that act as camouflage.

Fun Fact: Toad really enjoys meal time. On feeding days you might find him trying to climb the walls in excitement. 

Lincoln the Box Turtle

Lincoln is a captive-bred box turtle, a hybrid of Eastern and Florida subspecies. He hatched in 1992 and came to Audubon in 2006.

Fun Fact: Lincoln is very protective of his habitat and often approaches visitors with a fiesty attitude, thinking they’re intruders to his home.

Milton the Box Turtle

Milton is a wild-caught Eastern Box Turtle. A family illegally picked him up in Kentucky or Tennessee. He has the characteristic red eye of male Eastern Box Turtles and the yellow markings on his legs and shell.

Fun Fact: Milton is very shy and often burrows in his moss pit.

Hershey the California Kingsnake

Hershey came to Audubon as a previous pet. This non-native snake is related to the local Eastern Milk Snake. It features the same blotchy band pattern and smooth scales. She eats rodents here but in the wild she would commonly eat other snakes, hence the species name, “kingsnake.”

Fun Fact: Hershey sometimes shakes her tail while eating as an attempt to keep other predators away while she is in a vulnerable position. 

Rocky the False Map Turtle

Rocky is a False Map Turtle, the western relative to the Northern Map Turtle found in the region. Map turtles are incredible swimmers. They use their large, webbed feet like flippers to push through the water with ease. 

Fun Fact: Sometimes Rocky lays eggs (they are infertile because she lives alone). You might see them on the bottom of the tank from time to time. 

Eastern Garter Snake

Garter snakes are one of the most common snakes in the region. Eastern Garter Snakes usually have a stripe down the middle of their backs. They are not venomous or dangerous and eat mostly worms.

Fun Fact: Look closely at Garter’s scales the next time you visit. She has keeled scales that are rough to the touch, while the other snakes at Audubon have smooth or semi-smooth scales. 

Musk Turtle

Musk Turtles are also called “Stinkpots” and get their name from the musk they release when frightened. A secretive turtle, they do occasionally bask on logs but spend more time on the muddy bottom of ponds and swamps. They prefer still-water habitats.

Fun Fact: Musk Turtle is a very good climber and sometimes climbs on top of her filter to take a nap. 

Munny the Painted Turtle

This turtle was removed from a house as an illegal pet. Painted Turtles are native to the region. She will not be released into the wild to prevent the possible spread of disease. Note the yellow and orange markings on her head, neck, and legs, identifying features of this species.

Fun Fact: Sometimes Munny basks on her float with both of her back feet stretched out behind her. This pose allows her to absorb more heat and UV rays from her lamps. (The other aquatic turtles can also be caught striking this adorable, yet practical, pose.)

Red-eared Slider

This is not a native turtle to the region. This turtle was found injured and is most likely a released pet. Sliders can live for 30-40 years and may grow up to 11 inches. Released pet turtles compete with native species for food and space and often spread diseases.

Fun Fact: Slider is very shy out of the water, but is curious while he’s in the water and often swims over to visitors to say “hello”. 

Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtles get their name because they snap to protect themselves. Turtles do not have teeth, their sharp beaks are what can cause injury. They prefer to stay in the water, but females will often be found on land looking for a place to lay eggs.

Fun Fact: Snapper spends the warmer months outside in one of the small ponds in front of the Nature Center.

Spotted Turtles (Adults and Juvenile)

These turtles are state-endangered due to habitat loss and illegal collection for the pet trade. These turtles were rescued from owners who had them illegally. Spotted Turtles are small when fully grown and are very secretive, preferring marshy habitats.

Fun Fact: You can tell the male and female Spotted Turtles apart by the shape of their shells. The female has a more domed shell (extra space for eggs) while the males are flatter shaped.

Rudolph the Yellow Rat Snake

The Yellow Rat Snake is native to Florida and the southeastern coast. It is related to the Black Rat Snake, which is native to New York. In the wild, they eat small mammals, eggs, birds, lizards and frogs. This snake, because it is in captivity, eats mice.

Fun Fact: Rudolph was rescued from a warehouse as a juvenile, kept as a pet, and eventually donated to Audubon.


Audubon Community Nature Center
1600 Riverside Road
Jamestown, NY 14701

(716) 569-2345

Click here for directions

Hours and Admission

Nature Center Hours:

Monday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Building Admission:

Members - Free
Non-member Adult (ages 16+) - $6
Non-member Child (ages 3 - 15) - $2
Children ages 2 and under - Free
Maximum cost for a Family - $15
Free admission to the Nature Center for SNAP/EBT cardholders.
Free admission for all on Sundays

Grounds and Outdoor Exhibits:

Open daily, year round from dawn to dusk free of charge

Click here for holiday closings

Thank you, Community Partners

Audubon Community Partners make a significant financial contribution each year because they believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a real and healthy connection to nature.

Carnahan-Jackson Foundation
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
Curt and Susie Westrom
Holmberg Foundation
Hultquist Foundation
Jessie Smith Darrah Fund

Lenna Foundation
Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation

Bob Frucella's Tax Service
Bush Furniture, a Brand of eSolutions Furniture 
Hal and Mary Conarro
Univera Healthcare
Weinberg Financial Group
Whirley Drinkworks