Birds Of All Feathers Flock Together In Saugatuck | Wickwood Inn
All year round, the birds are an integral part of our lives in Saugatuck … and this time of year, our enthusiasm for birds generates big-time excitement. Whether it’s the return of one of our favorite “snowbirds” (who travelled south for warmer climes) or the arrival of a beloved songbird to our feeders, we love the daily invigoration that birds bring into our lives. Welcome back, friends!
“I don’t feed the birds because they need me; I feed the birds because I need them.”
~ Kathi Hutton
The other day, driving home from Wickwood, I had to stop the car … right in front of Saugatuck City Hall … so that a pair of Mallard Ducks could safely cross the street. On the Kalamazoo River and Lake, the boats, kayaks, and paddle boards may have to pause for birds and allow a gaggle of Goslings (maybe it’s a “paddling” or a “raft” when the geese are on water?) to safely pass by.
It seems every day there is a new song in the air signaling to us that another friend has arrived.
The Baltimore Orioles cheerily remind us that they need new oranges and a refill of grape jelly. Yes … now, please! The Hummingbirds buzz by, at breathtaking speeds, and hover over our flower boxes. Three shades of pink geraniums, double Impatiens, royal blue Lobelia, tiny white Bacopa flowers, purple Petunias, and licorice are quite a choice. Guests love to watch the little birds during Sips and Small Plates Hour in the early evening on Wickwood’s back porch.
With curiosity and fascination, we watch as the Robin builds her nest in window boxes, door wreaths, and porch eaves. In the morning, guests can see the robins feeding their babies. Their nests are built in our espaliered Heirloom Apple Trees near the Gazebo or in our Topiary lilac trees that line the walkway to Wickwood. Keep an eye out for the first time the fledgling birds will take flight.
At out feeder we celebrate our first sighting of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Red-Winged Blackbird gets showy and noisy in his desire to be noticed. We delight in observing that, yes … that is the female Northern Cardinal singing. We remark on how the Black-capped Chickadee is reluctant to stay at the feeder. It prefers to simply grab a seed and take it elsewhere.
Sometimes we are lucky enough to spot an Indigo Bunting in our yards. Or a Scarlet Tanager might appear out on a hike at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. That guarantees us bragging rights for the day and maybe garners a little good-natured envy amongst friends.
We also have our eyes open for the larger birds and birds of prey. Nothing clears out our feeder faster than the hoarse, screaming sound of the Red-tailed Hawk circling above. The loud, rattling bugle call of the Sandhill Cranes always makes our hearts happy. Spotting the Great Blue Heron perched along the river brings great delight. And, if we get to see him take flight with his signature “S” shape neck? Wow! Love that wing-span. The Wild Turkey can put on quite a show while strutting his stuff around town. And the Ring-necked Pheasant can still be spotted alongside the road.
We stop everything at the site of the Bald Eagle, and we remain still in hopes we’ll see it again, soon. At night, we throw open the windows and love the hoot, hoot of the Barred Owls, calling in the distance.
Join us in Saugatuck this Spring and Summer and become part of the flock of friends at Wickwood Inn. In addition to complimentary Farm To Table Brunch and Sips & Small Plate Happy Hour you’ll enjoy Sweets throughout your stay. We’re happy to fill you in on all the best places to watch birds. This is just one more reason to reserve an extended stay at Wickwood Inn. Hope to see you soon!
“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business.”
~ Grant Hutchison