Have you heard the saying, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” Have you also heard the saying, “by a hawk’s flight?”
These sayings become real at Wild Wings Nature Center at Mendon Ponds Park in Honeoye Falls. And if your next question is “Are there buffalo wings??” The answer is no because this is a nature center full of birds, not their delicious, saucy wings.
At Wild Wings, you can do two things. Go on a nature walk or see real raptors and birds of prey.
Birds of Prey
The people at Wild Wings explain what you will see there: “At Wild Wings, we house and care for 27 permanently injured, non-releasable birds of prey. We also have one non-raptor living with us, a North American bobcat named Tara. Like our raptors, Tara also is unable to be released into the wild.”
My family and I always go on a walk through all of the birds of prey. We see lots of birds.
There is usually a person standing outside with one of the birds on his or her hand who will tell you all about the species of bird and how that bird got there. Most are injured and cannot go back into the wild, which is why they are kept there: To protect them. Some birds are Melinda the barn owl, Olivia the American kestrel, Tory the peregrine falcon and Phoenix the red shouldered hawk. There is even a bobcat named Tara!
But I must warn newcomers about Hunter the barred owl. He is blind, so do not be noisy around his cage. The polite thing to do is stay quiet or hoot something that sounds like, “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you?”
You can also walk along the path with a trail of habitats.
On the nature trail, you can see many things. You can see lots of song birds such as chickadees, cardinals, tufted titmice, and sparrows.
If you buy some bird seed, you can go on the nature trail and put some in your hand. Stand completely still. Put your hand up to the sky and act like a tree. Chickadees might just land on your hand!
You can also see many other sights, too. Along the trail there are some huts and decks, inside of which is more info on birds. The nature trail leads all through Mendon Park, so you can see also deer, opossums, wild raptors and many cool landforms, like rolling hills, lakes, ponds and forests.
Gift Shops and Birthday Parties
In the gift shop, you can purchase various items that has to do with birds. Items include but are not limited to paintings, posters, owl pellets, postcards, stuffed animals, throw pillows and clothing. My sister and I usually buy stuffed animals that sound like the real bird.
You can also have birthday parties at Wild Wings. When you get there, the party room is filled with bird items. There is a huge mountain mural with birds painted on it.
But, the most surprising thing is that the whole room is filled with shelves and stuffed, real life birds. There is a huge long table in the middle. The other side of the room has displays of bird skeletons, owl pellets, and by the way, you can pick up and feel the bird skeletons. Be sure to wash your hands before you dig into your birthday lunch!
Later on, Barf the turkey vulture on a staff member’s arm comes into the room for about a minute then leaves.
It is a lot of fun to go to Wild Wings, especially if you are obsessed with birds as much as I am obsessed with wolves!