Possums, Porcupines and Birds of Prey at Bird Sanctuary by Reg Coffey – October 7, 2012

Did you know that…..? Porcupines are a rodent, mostly live up in the trees; they cannot groom themselves since they would get a tongue full of their own defense mechanism and therefore smell really bad.  The handlers draw straws on who will handle the porcupine since they also smell after the show!

CFN – Nature and Wildlife Day at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary was a huge success. The day was sunny but cool and the crowds were reported to be the largest in the history of this event. There were arts and crafts and exhibits and horses and basically a ton of stuff to see and do. There was also a ton of stuff to buy in the big tent including some great tasting coffee. Unfortunately the most I could see was the main stage where Falcon Environmental and Big sky Ranch put on demonstrations with their animals. They were great shows but I couldn’t get away from my booth to take in all the other activities.

Did you know that possums cannot actually hang by their tails?  They do however bounce from one branch  to another using their tail to swing  and balance. They are omnivores and their favorite food is road-kill and often suffer the same fate as their dinner.

Eastern Screech Owl showing how it got its name.
A moment of mutual respect.
Barn Owl
Harris’s Hawk

During the shows the kids were up on stage to interact in a controlled manner with the animals. The bird handlers let the owl and falcon swoop over the heads of the audience to everyone’s amazement. The kids however still managed to find their own fun between shows by hand feeding Chickadees and Blue Jays. My wife Kathy (who also took the pictures) was informed by one young lady to be prepared when feeding the birds “The Blue Jays are greedy”,  she had one land in her hand, eat three seeds and carry two away. “The Chickadees are messy, they kick out the seeds they don’t want”.

The Chickadees are messy, they kick out the seeds they don’t want.

This was my first time at the Nature and Wildlife Day and I must say that I was impressed. I plan to attend it again next year and take in the whole event. Of course the Bird Sanctuary is a great place to visit any time of the year to learn and experience nature at its finest. The birds are always hungry and will eat out of your hand if you are patient enough, but remember, the Chickadees are messy.



  1. I wish I could have made it home for ThanksGiving and this event in particular!

  2. I took my 2 boys, what a fantastic adventure!

    I would highly recommend attending this event & I plan to make it a family tradition.

    Cory, if your home next year we can go together!!!

    PS Reg-I wish you had picture of grey fox, he was sooo adorable!

  3. Thanks Deb, I hope I can make it home next year. I’ve applied to some other jobs that if I am the successful candidate, I’ll be able to take more time off. Well let’s hope I can get any number of them!

  4. I know I missed a lot. I was very busy serving coffee. Did I sell you any?

  5. Excellent report, Reg, with Kathy’s wonderful pictures. Next year I’ll try to be there.

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