Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reifel Bird Sanctuary (or how I almost lost my life)

Mister Man and I were having a "staycation" this weekend in which we PRETENDED we were out of town, while all the while laying low in our own backyard. (That last sentence is a metaphor by the way, as we don't actually have a backyard. We have a small balcony. Our balcony is about 60 square feet of concrete that I avoid at all costs because we live on the 12th floor and I am afraid of heights.)

I am also afraid of birds.

Yeah. I saw Hitchcock's "The Birds" at a slumber party when I was in the 4th grade. I'm no dummy. Birds are skittish and unpredictable. You've seen the millions of crazy pigeons in Trafalgar Square who wait until you start to make your move before flapping their wings hysterically in your face. You know what I'm talking about.

Here's an interactive website that kind of illustrates the full horror of it (actually the website, by panoramic photographer Will Pearson is absolutely gorgeous) Check it out: The Birds, Trafalgar Square.

So when Mister Man suggested that we take a field trip to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, my first thought was that he was trying to kill me.

The sign we encountered upon entering the Sanctuary did not bode well for me.

Mister Man threatened to throw bird seed at me to "attract" the crazy critters. I was clearly not impressed. But I was relieved to discover that, in fact, there actually aren't THAT many birds IN the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Or else they were already full because we were there at the end of the day and they had probably eaten a Costco-sized keg of birdseed by then. Upon paying your entrance fee, you are encouraged to take bags of birdseed so that you can have the birds EAT RIGHT OUT OF YOUR HAND!! I don't know about you, but that just seems like crazy talk to me.

In any event, we had a lovely walk. There were these little houses with peek-a-boo windows so you could spy on wildlife! It made for a kind of built-in panoramic view.

And there was only one touchy moment in which a pack of rabid ducks blocked our escape path.

And then we were chased by a pack of homicidal geese, but Mister Man made like Dr. Doolittle and became the geese whisperer. I snuck by very carefully moving a bit like the pink panther.

By the end of the day, I was actually brave enough to climb this tower! Fear of heights be gone!

And then I even attempted to feed a duck! The stupid thing ignored me.

As we neared the exit again, I was feeling quite proud of myself. Though as I glanced at this sign on the way out, I wondered who would be stupid enough to actually chase the killer winged things....


  1. I must admit to having the same relationship to fact just lately crows have been my nemesis!

    One time 3 crows ganged up on me - crawing and swooping me. They followed me harassing me in this manner until I ran from my local park. And then just this past sunday morning in the same place another angry crow cawed and swooped so close I could feel it on the top of my head. Again I had to run for my life!

    I think there is a nest nearby - so I will not frequent that area of the park for awhile.

  2. I am relieved that I am not the only person to have this experience with the demon birds!!! And I'm glad Lisa that you are now staying away from the dangerous part of the park!! Stay safe....

  3. i went to reifel years ago and saw the cranes up close-- and i was scared of them. also found the ducks a bit creepy-- there were crowds and crowds of them. it reminded me of when my sister and i got chased by aggressive geese in boston when we were wee children. but i have to say i loved my trip to reifel and the scary parts made it even better. also i just watched the trafalgar square 360 thing after drinking too much red wine-- i am a bit dizzy now. oops. but so beautiful! thanks for the link.

  4. It's so true that the scary parts make it all the better! By the time I was holding out my hand to feed the ducks, I was giddy with accomplishment!!