Bird in the Hand
Have you ever hand-fed wild birds? Head to The West Woods to give it a try – in optimal conditions, volunteers have reported as many as 60 chickadees in 20 minutes!
- Watch our Facebook or Twitter accounts each fall for the announcement that Bird in the Hand is back for the season.
- Time your visit for daylight hours and dress warmly – extra layers, hat and gloves – since you will be standing still. Between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., stop into the nature center to collect some black oil sunflower seed; otherwise, use a little from the feeder already placed on site. Hand-feeding works best with just one or two people or a small group, like three or four.
- Follow the Trout Lily Trail, then hang a right at the fork after the boardwalk across the wetlands, following the sign. Soon you’ll come upon the feeding station marked by a feeder and a mannequin, “Parker,” who keeps the birds familiar with a human presence. (Parker is pretty realistic; then again, birds are fairly easy to fool.)
- Take down the feeder, hide it under the nearby bucket, extend your hand with some seed in your palm, then wait. Birds come in waves, so you may need to wait a little while for the next wave to come. But odds are you’ll have at least a few takers if you’re patient, enjoying the peace and quiet a handful of minutes or so. Enjoy!