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Springtime along Bluebird Trail with the Pennswood Birders

Posted on April 6, 2018 in Community Highlight, Resident Profile
Ann Baker

Ann Baker

When spring takes wing at Pennswood, it’s an ideal time to discover the Bluebird Trail and the Bird Sanctuary located in the stunning natural environment which is Pennswood’s Meadow. “A great way to start is to contact the Pennswood Birders,” says Ann Baker, a five-year Pennswood resident.

Ann is the facilitator of the Pennswood Birders, one of the many committees and clubs that make Pennswood Village so diversely engaging for residents with interests of all kinds.

When it comes to the Meadow, home of the Bluebird Trail and the Bird Sanctuary, “I could go on forever!” laughs Ann. “It’s the kind of tall grass prairie ecosystem that our forebears drove through in their covered wagons. The main plant here is Big Bluestem Grass, which is mixed with other native grasses, as well as familiar native wildflowers such as Goldenrod and Black Eyed Susans.”

photo by Pennswood Village resident Yoma Ullman

In early spring, the Pennswood Birders are busy cleaning and repairing the birdhouses along the Bluebird Trail after a long winter, reports Ann. “There’s plenty of activity with bluebirds and tree swallows choosing their homes for the season.”

“The birds are wonderful to watch,” she continues. “They are just like people choosing a residence! A pair of bluebirds or tree swallows will sit on the roof and ‘talk.’ One bird goes in to inspect the interior. Then he or she comes out and the other goes in. Then they sit on the roof again and ‘discuss.’ Sometimes they move in…sometimes they move on to find a home they like better. Isn’t that exactly the way we pick out our own homes?”

A wide variety of birds either make Pennswood their home for the season or migrate through. “The paved pathways of the Bluebird Trail and the Bird Sanctuary make the birds more accessible to people,” Ann is happy to say. “So even if you’re not a strong walker, you can come out and enjoy it!”

photo by Pennswood Village resident Yoma Ullman

“Flocks of Cedar Wax Wings are migrating right now,” she says. “Many Pennswood birders are good at identifying feeder birds, but we also have a few who can identify visiting birds, the ones who use the meadow as a rest stop on their way north. The Committee has a new member who can identify anything so we are learning a lot from him. “

“If you think you might be interested, please come and join us,” invites Ann. “We have monthly meetings and we sometimes offer films and presentations for the whole community. “The most important thing, she emphasizes about the Pennswood Birders is, “we are open to all!”

photo by Pennswood Village resident Yoma Ullman

“In the Bird Sanctuary, we maintain four different kinds of bird feeders both winter and summer,” she continues. “That area is also planted with native trees and shrubs to supply the berries birds like. No herbicides or insecticides are used within its boundaries. Two years ago we began adding more wild flowers to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees.”

“The Meadow makes Pennswood unique and that’s why I came. I knew that no other retirement community would do for me!” remembers Ann. “We Pennswood Birders cherish birds and support the whole ecosystem of the Meadow. For nature lovers, Pennswood Village is a wonderful place to call home! “

In addition to serving as a home for the birds and other wildlife, numerous walkers, and runners, and Pennswood’s Community gardens, the Meadow at Pennswood Village is a successful and award-winning storm water management system. Read more about the Meadow here or call 866-740-4977 or click here to take a tour of Pennswood and its Meadow.