Bird in the Hand
Have you ever hand-fed wild birds? From October through April, 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.)
- Hand-feeding works best with just one or two people or a small group, like three or four. Time your visit for daylight hours and dress warmly with extra layers, hat and gloves, since you will be standing still. What are optimal weather conditions? Click here for an Ask a Naturalist Q&A to find out.
- When you arrive at The West Woods, stop into the nature center (open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to collect a packet of black oil sunflower seed.
- 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 mannequin who keeps the birds familiar with a human presence. (Parker is pretty realistic; then again, birds are fairly easy to fool.)
- As soon as you arrive, cover the onsite feeder with the bucket. (A reminder to do this is also posted onsite.) Place a few seeds in your hand, hold it out flat, stand very still, and wait for birds to arrive. They tend to 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 are patient. Enjoy!
- When finished, please be sure to remove the bucket from the feeder, place any unused seed into the feeder, and place your empty seed packet in the marked receptacle.
- Take a great photo? Share your experience by tagging Geauga Park District on Facebook or using #geaugaparkdistrict. Thanks in advance!