A Bird In Hand

Tuesday, March 20, 2012,

This is the magic of the Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor. This is a pic that requires no words. But I’m gonna bore you anyways.

The refuge has a lot to offer. Two very-well maintained trails take you through several unique habitats including a mixed hardwood forest, freshwater wetlands, saltwater marshes, upland fields, and even a beach that straddles both Little Peconic and Noyack Bays. These varied habitats attract a wide variety of species. One stands a very good chance of seeing some seldom glimpsed critters like deer, pheasants, and turkeys in their natural element. In all seasons, Morton is a birder’s hotspot. Migrating waterfowl, warblers, and numerous other birds either visit the refuge or stay here all year round.

All very cool stuff, mind you, especially to a guy like me. But Morton’s real draw, her very real magic, is the trust that the local birds show in us bipeds. Come bearing sunflower seeds and extend your open palm with this simple gift, and birds small enough to fit in your closed fist – don’t do that, by the way – will alight on your hand, select a seed, and fly off to enjoy its prize. I’ve been visiting Morton for more years than I had hair and having a bird land on my hand never gets old. Ever. JK