Nearly a month ago, after work one afternoon my wife, Sandy, told me about this pretty bird that had been hanging around the bird feeder in our back yard. When she went outside, it came close as it foraged. She described it as a beautiful bird but wasn’t sure what species it was. She got out the bird identification book and the picture she showed me was a Partridge! I got online and did a little research. Partridge like to eat apples, berries, insects and the tiny frozen buds on various trees gets them through in winter. They are solitary and usually keep to themselves except during mating. The difference between male and female is small. But after looking at our partridge closely and looking at photo’s from our book; we think it’s a female.
The bird showed up a little while later. Being an avid bird hunter, Partridge is the best table fare of all our wild birds and it being Partridge hunting season, I headed for the shotgun cabinet! Oh boy, bad move on my part. I thought herself was going to wring my neck! Wanting to shoot HER bird and all. Soon as Sandy calmed down, I went to have a closer look. I stood on my back porch and it wandered up quite close and looked me over. A couple days later it was back and approached even closer. It went on like this for a good for a week or two. Pretty soon she would see me and come running across the yard right up to my feet! During the day, Sandy would see it eating frozen buds and it would peck around the cracked corn and sunflower seeds I had out for the other birds.
I started leaving out some purple grapes and the partridge happily devoured them. I ran out of those after a few days so I sneaked some of Sandy’s treasured blueberry supply and she liked those too. Next, I cut up some apples and those seemed to be her favorites.
Now, after a couple months, that bird greets me at the back door every morning. If I’m up before she is, I just give a whistle and out of the woods she comes. I put out my hand and say, “ C’mon up!” and she hops onto my hand. Most evenings just before dark we repeat our ritual. She even takes grapes from between my lips.
I can’t help but laugh at her. When the food is gone she gets quite cranky. Darn thing will start walking up and down my arm while scolding me with various clucks and squawks. Sometimes she pecks my head and ears till I relent and go in for more berries! This little bird has been giving Sandy and I countless hours of enjoyment.
Has this happened to anyone else? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve ever been adopted by a wild bird. I will share your stories if you have them.
Don’t forget about the two fly tying classes coming up at Craig Brook Hatchery in Orland. On February 6, Harold Shaw will teach you how to tie a pair of trout fly’s and on February 13, I will be showing you two salt water fly’s. You bring your vise and tools, plus some thread ( white or monofilament for my class) and all the other materials will be provided. The best part is it’s free. Classes are limited to ten participants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 359- 8999 to register.
Slims Fishing Derby is February 13 and 14. On Toddy Pond . Call 348-6938 to register. There’s many nice prizes and awards. Plus you may win a door prize just for buying a ticket. AND It’s for a great cause! Call 348-6938 for more info. Tickets are available at many local stores.