Wild Westhampton

…nature in the Hamptons…

Posts Tagged ‘national wildlife refuge

The Chipmunk in the Trees

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This guy has learned to watch for people just like the birds have. He followed us along the trail, hoping we would drop something good to eat.

The Chipmunk in the Trees
10 July 2008
Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, Sag Harbor, NY

The Chickadee on the Twig

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On the same trip as posted here & here. This guy was just waiting for his turn on D’s hand.

The Chickadee on the Twig
30 December 2008
Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, Sag Harbor, NY

A Bird in the Hand

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Last week, D and I had the opportunity to head over to the Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, where no matter what the season I always have no trouble finding wildlife to stalk. Most common are the chickadees, who fly to your hand with little to no coaxing (provided you appear to have seed in it), but also abundant are the tufted titmouse (seen here), cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, turkeys, squirrel, and deer.

The wildlife at Morton is so friendly towards humans, making the act of observing or photographing them easy. The reason the birds are so friendly is because they have been fed by hand for so many years that they are completely happy to fly to your hand if only you hold it out. Luring a chickadee used to be much harder — I remember being a squirmy child and going with my parents or grandmother, only to wait what seemed like forever after holding out my hand for one to fly to me. Now, as a squirmy adult, I’ve had them fly at me without waiting for me to even stop on the trail. Even tufted titmouse never used to fly to the hand.

Of course, you are not supposed to feed them. Feeding wildlife is generally a bad idea, and the reasons against it are numerous. This article talks about the alternatives to having a feeder in your yard, such as planting things that will attract insects, which will then in turn attract the birds you’d like to watch.

A Bird in the Hand
30 December 2008
Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, Sag Harbor, NY