I had Them Eating out of my Hands (01.25.09)
I spent the most unusual and fun morning in the Cleveland Metroparks at the Brecksville Reservation. I didn’t realize this, but every year on Sundays from 10am-noon in January and February, very patient and quiet visitors have the opportunity to handfeed chickadees and other small birds.
Apparently, a feeder that roughly approximates a wooden person with a seed-filled hand outstretched gets the birds comfortable with the concept. And, for a few hours on Sundays in the winter months, the feeders are temporarily removed. People (kids, senior citizens and everyone in-between) silently arrive, scooping up seed and freezing in their tracks (both literally and figuratively in our case as it was really cold outside) in attempt to attract adorable birds.
Here are a few tips. First, bare hands or light gloves seemed to be more successful at bringing in the birdies than thick, black mittens. Two, you can put seed on the top of your cap to maximize your visitation. (See photo.) And three, birds may even choose to land on you sans food offerings. I had two stop briefly to perch on fingers as I stood motionless and ready with the camera. –AK