A Day With the Birds – November 27, 2006

 

Today we did something really different, and even though I wasn’t thrilled about going at first, it was really cool when we acutally got there! Brent wanted to go take pictures at this bird santuary not far from our house. www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com

Brent called ahead to make sure they were open – cause of our huge snowfall. They were so we bundled up (we were wearing 3 pairs of pants each – plus 3 shirts and a heavy coat. I figured since probably no one else would be trekking through a bird santuary on a Monday morning in the freezing cold and snow over a foot deep – that I wouldn’t run into anyone so why try to make a fashion statement?)

We got to the sanctuary and were given a map by a very friendly lady running the gift shop. We bought 4 bags of bird seed and went out onto the deck of the building and were greeted by all these hungry ducks! Within seconds almost the 4 bags of birdseed was gone and they were all quacking at us and pulling at my pant legs! 😯 I have never been so up close and personal with ducks! They were super friendly – almost like they were pets! I felt sorry for them cause they were still hungry and by now literally hundreds had joined in the flock that was surrounding me. There I was standing in the middle of all these noisy ducks and I couldn’t even move without tripping over one. I made my way back to the giftstore and we bought 20 more bags of seed!! (they were small bags)So back out to the mass amount of ducks waiting for food. This was quite amazing. I knelt down amongst them and they were not afraid of me at all. I was touching them!!! I’ve never touched a duck before! I wanted to pick one up but Brent said not to. LOL 😆 Pigeons were also around and they weren’t shy either. At one point I had three of them sitting on my arm 😮 We gave them a bunch more food then decided to start our trek along the trails. Well, our little group (of a couple hundred!) of duck friends decided to come along. They all waddled behind us. When we stopped, so did they. When we started walking again, they followed us some more. It was hilarious!! They followed us quite a long way, until the trail narrowed and went into a sort of forest setting, then they decided to stay behind. No worries though, we came across many more groups of friendly ducks on our journey. Good thing we still had food left for them. We also came across some cute little chickadees, flittering about in some branches over our heads. The lady from the giftstore gave me special seeds for the chickadees and told me to put it in my hand and they will come eat from it. I didn’t really believe her at first (but then that was before I met all the outgoing ducks). So I poured some seeds into my hand and held it up and to my surprise they started flying closer and then they took turns landing in my hand – taking a seed, then flying off! Wow!! (I tried to do this with the ducks once – put the seeds in my hand – but they practically took my fingers off – and then a couple of them grabbed the seed bag out of my other hand and took off with it!)

The scenery was amazing – it was truly like a winter wonderland. The trues looked gorgeous with all the snow covering them. Everything was white, it was so bright that I had to wear my sunglasses. I seriously have never seen so many wild birds in one place. The temperature dropped again though and suddenly it got very very cold. We made our way back to the main building but the whole journey took us over 2 hours. We stopped along the way to feed a few more groups of ducks and then when we got back to the giftstore building we gave the huge group of ducks the rest of the food we had left. 2 people were walking in as we were leaving and they each had a huge bowl of duck seed. The man was throwing it in handfuls to the eager ducks and inside the bowl the lady was carrying – was a mallard duck! Just sitting there gobbling down all the seed he could from her bowl! 😆 😆

It was a cool experience and one that I have never had before. But I was chilled all day from being out in the cold. I even curled up with Angus on his big pillow in front of the fire when we got home. 😆

Here are some pics of our bird day:

Our new group of ducky friends

Our new group of ducky friends

Here they are following us img_0043.jpg

 

One of the pigeons that came to sit on my hand

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Sitting with another group of ducksimg_0092.jpg

There are actually 2 chickadees in my hand here img_0061.jpg

Winter Wonderland img_0056.jpg

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I think these are winter geese img_0083.jpg

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