Mendon Ponds Park Bird Walk
small forest in Rochester named Mendon Ponds Park has an area called "Birdsong
Trail," where birds are tame enough to come and eat seeds
from your hand. Here is a March 2001, first-hand account from Elaine
Andersen's daughter and five grandchildren.
age 13): We went to Mendon Ponds Park where someone had spilled a lot
of seed, so the birds were eating off the ground. We covered up the seeds
with snow so they would come to our hands. Eventually I just sat in a
big clump of bushes and waited. I moved my hands toward the birds that
were near me and that's how I got my first birds. Then I kept getting
more and more. Once I had two birds at one time on my hand. One chickadee
tried to crack a seed open on my thumb, but my glove was not firm enough,
so he flew and cracked it open in the tree. All together, I got about
25 chickadees to eat out of my hand, but I stopped counting after 18.
age 11): When you go to this trail the birds are very tame and used to
people coming with seed. We even saw deer about 15 feet away, just walking
the trail. It would be nice to go in the spring: everything would be
flowering and there would be baby birds to feed. When I got my first
bird, I wasn't looking and I missed it! I noticed the other 6! I even
said "Hello" to one, and it chirped back. I saw a woman who
got 2 white breasted nuthatches. I friend of ours got 2 male cardinals.
I got 7 chickadees.
age 8): It was winter when we went there, and I was really cold. I stayed
there awhile and then went back in the car. I got three birds in my hand.
They were chickadees. I was really excited because I was the first one
to get a chickadee in my hand. We used sunflower seeds. I was wearing
light blue gloves, and my Mom thinks maybe that's why they came to me
first. Everyone else was wearing very dark gloves.
age 6): I loved when the deer came because they usually never come in
front of people. There were only two, a mommy and baby deer. They kept
walking toward the people, and then they walked into the bushes. I kept
spilling the birdseed, but I was trying to hold it. It was very cold,
and I could even stand there to get a bird. I saw some chickadees, cardinals
and there were some more birds, but I don't know what they're called.
age 4): I saw the deer and they walked into the forest. They were
very far away, then they were close to me. We fed the birds sunflower
seed, which is what hummingbirds eat when they are done drinking
their mom: No we did not see any hummingbirds. Don't worryshe'll
get it straight when she's a little older. Although some may
argue that a park such as this changes the natural behavior of
birds and could put them in a dependent state upon humans, I
would find it hard to believe that children who are taught to
respect birds and their habitats could pose a bigger threat to
wildlife than children who are not taught. We hope to return