The Dyson College Nature Center's resident animals are charismatic ambassadors for the environment and provide students with irreplicable opportunities to more fully understand environmental issues and practice, particularly as related to wildlife and livestock management. Meet some of our animals:

Red-Tailed Hawk

Raptors, or birds of prey, are traditionally viewed as symbols of power and strength. Though fierce, these top predator species are sensitive, living barometers of an ecosystem's health. By studying the diet, habitat and range of raptors, scientists gain many opportunites to gather data and make important observations about the health of our environment.

The Center's resident raptors include Gyr, Peregrine, Lanner, Saker, and Kestrel falcons, owls and hawks, and include several rescue birds. Edison, pictured, is a red-tailed hawk who was rescued after he suffered burns from a transformer.

Heritage Livestock

Heritage livestock are the breeds of animals that have been raised of agricultural farms and lands for centuries. By caring for and maintaining heritage livestock, we maintain a living link to our agricultural history and unique players in the world's biodiversity.

At the Dyson College Nature Center, our heritage livestock include St. Croix (pictured) and Barbados Blackbelly sheep. Both of these species trace their heritage to sheep brought to the Caribbean from West Africa and Europe in the 17th century.


Heritage poultry, like heritage livestock, are breeds that can trace their origins back through history. Many of our chickens and poultry are heritage breeds.


Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs became a pet of fashion in the United States in the early 1980s to mid-1990s. Pot-bellied pigs are small-sized pigs suitable for indoor living, if trained properly. Most range in size from 13-20 inches tall and can grow to approximately 200 pounds. They are curious animals with a humorous disposition and an intelligence only second to that of the dog. They are not finicky eaters and can be house trained. Original specimens brought to the United States in the 1980s were black. Now several varieties are available including grey, white, tan and red. Spotting (or "pinto") seems to be a preferred variation to many owners.

Unfortunately not many owners were educated adequately about the care and maintenance of a pot-bellied pig and many were abandoned in newly formed “pig sanctuaries” and “pig rescue” organizations. Since that time, much information has been published and organizations have been formed to give the desiring owner the adequate resources to keep their future pet healthy and maintained.

Nubian Goats

Pictured here are our Nigerian dairy goats, also known as Nigerian dwarf goats, a small breed of dairy goat. Nubian goats are known for being a vocal breed of dairy goat that traces its origins to Africa, India and England.


The Nature Center's honeybee hives, or apiaries, are home to Italian honeybees, known for their bright yellow color and high honey production.


Border collies are herding dogs that are energetic companions and managers of our residential livestock. Border collies are known for their intelligence, agility and affectionate natures. This industrious breed is also a humane Canada goose deterrent, helping to keep our campus clean.