Sanctuary Rules For Feeding Birds
Only the Sanctuary's Duck food and Chickadee food can be used to feed the birds here. Small bags of these treats can be purchased at the Gift Shop. Visitors are not permitted to bring in any other food to feed the birds. This is a conservation area and its management relies upon cooperation from visitors to not introduce any plants or animals such as mealworms that are foreign to this coastal ecosystem.
Do not pursue or throw bird seed at birds that seem uninterested. Not all bird species eat seed. Not all individual birds want to be near people. Our food treats are only for the ducks and songbirds such as Black-capped Chickadees and Red-winged Blackbirds.
You will be asked to leave if you are feeding birds then attempting to chase, handle or pet them. These are wild birds and these kinds of activities are illegal. They can become stressed and can also be injured by careless handling.
Remember to wash tyour hands with soap and water if you have been feeding the birds. Our rules already stipulate not to handle the birds to prevent injury to them, but you also run the risk of undue contact with eColi and possible faeces-borne viruses. (see Avian Flu insert)
Be aware that certain parts of the Sanctuary are posted as "No feeding areas". This includes the trail out on the ocean frontage, certain viewing structures such as the tower and bird-watching blinds, the parking lot, and around buildings such as the Gift Shop. Please follow instructions.
Expect indifference from some birds in summer. Chickadees, for example, might ignore all sunflower seed offerings when they are nesting and feeding their young. That is because they are enjoying all the insects and spiders that are abundant here during the summer months. Birds naturally change diet preferences so that they and their young get lots of high protein content. Our treats are more for the winter months, and we do not even sell the sunflower seeds for them from April to September.
What If We Do Not Feed Them?
Probably nothing much will change. The Sanctuary was not established or managed to provide visitors with bird-feeding opportunities as a primary goal. For the most part, we expect our visitors to simply observe wild birds carrying out their natural activities. The overall goal of the Sanctuary is to provide safe natural habitat for the wild bird populations that rely upon coastal areas such as this. Our habitats are managed to provide natural foods such as seeds, berries, fruits, insects, fish and other wildlife for birds without people actually feeding them.