OYBC on Ice

My experience at the OYBC Gull-Crazy event was truly something to remember. Something very memorable to me was watching the excitement on peoples faces as they discovered an interesting bird or got a good shot on their camera. For me this day seems to be all a blur because there were just so many birds and not enough time to learn them all. There was just so much excitement for one day!

OYBC on IceOn our first destination out to the pier, I found it memorable not for all the cool birds, but the bitter cold. I stood out there a good 15 minutes before I realized my group had abandoned me for the warmth of the car, so I walked back to find Darlene smiling at me, shocked that being naturally cold-natured that I had made it as long as i did. I jumped in the car finally, being the wimp I am, and we later headed off to another destination.

Another very memorable time for me was when the leader of Gull-Crazy headed to the airport because he was determined to find me a Snowy Owl. Not only did she find one, but she found three! The fact that she took the time to find one Snowy Owl for me was truly memorable, but finding three was just an absolute treat.

Lastly, probably the most memorable and exciting moment for me was when we stopped at one of Cleveland’s metro parks where we got to go out on the trails and feed chickadees. I had several that would fly onto my hand and sit there eating the seed. For those few moments that those chickadees would sit on my hand, I felt like a princess. A princess, you wonder? As confusing as that seems, there is a simple explanation. If you have ever seen Beauty and the Beast, there is a scene where the beast is eagerly trying to get backyard birds to jump in his hand and eat the seeds, but he isn’t being patient enough. So Belle just lays his hands on the ground and soon enough the birds are all over him and Belle. She looks so graceful as she is feeding those birds in the winter weather with snow all over the ground; its just truly beautiful. So like I said, I felt like a princess feeding those chickadees out of my hands! I felt beautiful and graceful.

Belle and BirdLastly the other quite memorable thing with the chickadees was when I was about to head back with our group to the little nature lodge they had, when I looked over and there was a family, a mom, dad, two dogs, and two little boys, one probably about age 7 and the other probably about age 4. The little boys asked their parents what we were doing, so I told them we were feeding birds and asked them if they wanted to feed them. They ran over with excitement and I gave them the seed out of my hands and told them they had to hold very still and be very quiet because the birds weren’t like their dogs, they were wild and scared of us. It took about all of a minute for the older boy to get one on his hand. The smile on his face was priceless. But as for the little one, he kept moving around and talking so eventually he got frustrated and wanted to give up, but I told him “Let’s try one more time,” so he held his hand very still and what do you know? A chickadee instantly came to him and sat there for a few seconds. His little smile made me so happy! To think that I could teach him a lesson of having patience pays off and there is beauty and excitement in nature — it was just truly a great experience. I loved everything about this trip and would like to thank everyone who put it together and led it. I also apologize for my writing skills, but I tried my best to make this interesting. Thank you everyone for giving me a truly amazing birding experience.

Savannah Carter is a student member of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club