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TreeHouse has missed seeing so many of our visitors this year.  So, we are asking everyone to send in holiday cards or letters to your favorite animal:  Your card or letter counts as one vote, but anyone who adds $1 or more will receive two votes for your favorite.  Don't forget to consider Chuckles and Buddy, both who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this year.  The permanent resident with the most votes will be named TreeHouse Wildlife Center's 2020 Critter of the Year.  Cards and letters will be counted through the end of December and the 2020 Critter of the Year will be crowned Jan 15, 2021.   The 1st, 100th, and 200th card or letter received will win a TreeHouse T-shirt.  Winners will be mailed a gift certificate for one TreeHouse Wildlife Center T-shirt (value $12.00).


Please address your cards or letters to TreeHouse Wildlife Center, Attn: Kelly, 23956 Green Acres Rd., Dow, IL 62022.  You can also stop by the center and drop off your vote.


Follow our website page at or on Facebook at for weekly updated totals.  If you include a drawing or photo, we will display it at the center through the New Year.  Our staff, volunteers, and board members hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.   All holiday cards will be recycled through our crafting program. 

Who will be Crowned?


Top 5



​​65  Isaac Newton

12  Vixey

10  Noodle


9  Apache

8  Nyx



T-Shirt Winners

1st, 100th, 200th Card Received



​​1st  -  Mikaela M.  -  Vixey

100th  -  India S.  -  Isaac Newton


200th  -  Cora H. - Dorian

 Isaac Newton -

2020 Critter of the Year

The results are final. Our 2020 Critter of the Year is Turkey Vulture, Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton was admitted to TreeHouse on May 29, 2014 from Palmyra, IL as a nestling. He was found after his nest was accidentally destroyed during the demolition of an old farmhouse. Isaac had a wing and neck injury from the accident which required a lot of care for him to recover but unfortunately he became human imprinted. Isaac is quite the character and often will come up to greet guests. Friends and family of Isaac Newton's Guardian, Col. Steven Miller (Ret), created a vote campaign to honor both of them. Thank you to everyone who sent in votes, drawings, and donations. It was a wonderful experience receiving so many kind words and to see how many people have made connections with the permanent residents.

Turkey Vultures are a very interesting species and are valuable environmental stewards.


Here are some interesting facts from the Audubon California Kern River Preserve:

1. The turkey vulture’s scientific name is Cathartes aura which is Latin for "cleansing breeze".

2. With their bald red head and dark feathers, they were given the common name turkey vulture due to its superficial resemblance to the Wild Turkey.

3. Turkey vultures are the only scavenger birds that can't kill their prey. A close inspection of their feet reminds one of a chicken instead of a hawk or an eagle. Their feet are useless for ripping into prey, but the vultures have powerful beaks that can tear through even the toughest cow hide.

4. Turkey vultures have an extraordinary sense of smell. They have been known to be able to smell carrion from over a mile away which is very unique in the bird world. The turkey vulture has the largest olfactory (smelling) system of all birds.

Check out more facts here:


2020 Critter of the Year

Send in your Holiday Cards or Letters to vote for your favorite permanent resident.