GPD Wants to Know…Are You a Chickadee Magnet?

john kolar with another bird in hand FB
Pictured is Chief Naturalist John Kolar with a bird in his hand!

Winter is a great time to observe birds, and what better place to observe them than the comfortable, serene wildlife feeding station at The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell Township.

But what if we told you that YOU could be the bird feeder?

Following the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” Geauga Park District’s Bird in the Hand Project allows you to feed the wild birds by hand!

This project debuted in the winter of 2014 to great success, and the Black-Capped Chickadees immediately warmed up when the feeder went back out this fall.

To try your hand at feeding the birds, time up your visit for daylight hours and dress warmly (extra layers, hat and gloves) since you will be standing still. If it’s 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 of 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, the birds are fairly easy to fool.)

Take down the feeder, hide it under the bucket that’s there, extend your hand with some seed in your palm, then wait. Odds are good you’ll have a taker if you’re patient, enjoying the peace and quiet a handful of minutes or so, maybe less.

Why was the Bird in the Hand Project established anyway? Well… it’s cool! It gives people an up-close look at these amazing little beauties. Led by naturalists Dottie Drockton and Linda Gilbert and a crew of dedicated volunteers, this project is one that you won’t want to miss – starting now and lasting all winter long.

Watch Chief Naturalist John Kolar feed the birds here. If you’d like to get your kids ages 6-7 or 8-11 involved on their own, sign them up during winter break to participate in Nature Explorers: Bird in the Hand, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to noon!

Registration is required for this drop-off program here, or call 440-286-9516.

This article is brought to you by Geauga Park District

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Geauga News
Author: Geauga News