The animals along the boardwalk in Summerside are a source of interest and enjoyment for many walkers. If you walk in the morning, birds and rodents are foraging and will take food from your hand if you are patient. However, there is a protocol for each species.
Chickadees, the smallest of the lot, cannot take peanuts in the shell.
Consequently, we crack the shells,
remove the peanuts and break them in two. Then the tiny birds can fly off with half a peanut.
They are careful at first when you offer up peanuts but if one of the birds thinks he can trust you, soon several are in line to take the tasty morsels.
Then there are the blue jays. They will take peanuts however they are offered up, in the shell or not. They are reluctant to take peanuts from your hand, preferring them on the ground or railing. But if you are patient, they too will approach your hand to take them.
The jays watch the area near the bridge carefully. At least one of them is always around and if a walker offers food,
notice goes out and before long, you can have up to a dozen birds there.
When you walk on after feeding them, some of the birds will fly from tree to tree along the way with you. They don’t want to miss out on anything.
The rodent population is represented by chipmunks and squirrels. We haven’t seen chipmunks around the boardwalk for a few weeks now but they disappear every winter into their burrows.
However, the squirrels are still busy gathering food and will come around any walker.
They don’t hesitate to take peanuts from anyone. They usually inspect peanuts theyare given and eat any with cracked shells. Shells which are in perfect condition are taken away possibly for winter storage.
People in the area are photo worthy too. When we arrived on the boardwalk Monday morning, we could see through the trees that people on the bridge were feeding the animals.
Later, as we continued our walk, people were busy feeding the animals further along the boardwalk, a lot of them in one area.
The sun that day made for a poor photo however.
Animals and people are conditioned in a mutually beneficial relationship. It is enjoyed by all.