We now have many families of young Canada Geese, Mallards, and Wood Ducks, and the Gadwall are sitting on nests now. There are still Shovelers, Northern Pintail and American Wigeon in small numbers, as well as Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal, but the majority of our other waterfowl have migrated out to other nesting areas. Many of the Sanctuary's waterfowl are flightless right now. If they are this year's young, they are just growing their flight feathers, and if they are adut birds, they are in their annual moult, when they replace feathers, even their flight feathers. We ask everyone to move slowly amongst large crowds of these walking birds. By July, most will be flying again.
Our resident pair of nesting Sandhill Cranes hatched a chick May 14th, but unfortunately, it died a week later due to an infection. Our pair is still staying in the vicinity of the nest, though, and should not be crowded or chased around, as the male is still aggressive. They are also still trying to chase away the other 4 sub-adult birds which have been hanging around since this time last year. Please do not hand feed any of these birds.
Nesting season is well underway now for the smaller birds, with families of Black-capped Chickadees, Marsh Wrens, Tree Swallows, Spotted Towhees, Barn Swallows and Common Yellowthroat underway. Bald Eagles are plentiful at this time of year, as many are nesting and the young from previous years are present. Great Horned Owls nested in the adjacent property this year, and we are now seeing the grown young visiting the Sanctuary.
Barn Swallow nest
It is a quiet month for shorebirds, but a few Yellowlegs, Wilson's Phalarope and Killdeer are around.
Please leave your dog at home. Dogs or other pets are not allowed in the Sanctuary, and as our parking lot can be hot, it is not kind to leave them in your vehicles. Playing any devices with
speakers is also prohibited. Trails are for quiet walking
only (no bikes or scooters, frisbees, sports equipment, noisy toys).
Note that smoking and cooking is prohibited. We recommend that visitors pack a picnic lunch if they plan to stay more than a few hours. We do not sell hot beverages or any foods other than packaged snacks at the Gift Shop.
We like everyone to enjoy their visit, but some activities are not allowed here, as the needs of the birds come first. Parents, please do not let children chase the birds or harm them in any way. Stay on trails at all times. Even going off trail for several feet flattens some nest cover for the birds, and tempts other visitors to break the rules. Visitors are not allowed to take things home from the Sanctuary, so please do not pick flowers, berries, mushrooms, or other living things here. Leave these alone, as as they are all parts of the habitats used by the birds.
Visitors will be asked to leave if they repeatedly ignore instructions to stay on trails, or are found harming or disrupting the birds or destroying their habitats.
A Note to Cyclists
Please dismount when in pedestrian areas. Bikes are not allowed on the trails or in our facilities (ie picnic grounds and washrooms), but we have several bike racks near the Gift Shop and in the picnic area, so remember to bring a bike lock.
To avoid blocking other visitors, fire hydrants, pedestrian access to facilities, and private
driveways near the parking lot, park only in designated
areas. On busy days we generally have someone out in the parking lot who can find a spot for you.
Please do not feed ducks in the parking lot itself. It creates a hazardous traffic situation for both cars and ducks. There is a quiet shoreline area off the parking lot where you can feed them.