Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bird Sanctuary

I do love discovering a hidden treasure tucked away in our neighborhood, and today some friends introduced us to a new favorite.  The Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary is a slice of urban forrest concealed in the interior of a block we've walked by hundreds of times.  The entrance is on Melville near the corner of Locust.  A narrow walkway between a garage with a white door and 233 S. Melville leads back into a small grove populated with native plants that attract birds.  There are paths weaving throughout the plot of woodland with a clearing in the center.  Benches made from logs sprinkle the area creating many places to sit quietly and birdwatch.  I can't believe I had no idea this sanctuary was here!  
Initially it does feel like you are walking into someone's backyard (and yards do line the sanctuary), but the sign above greets you are the end of the walkway, so you know you are in the right place.  You'd never know it was there - we certainly didn't.  And to think, it's been right there in our (well, our neighbors') backyard all this time.

Bird feeders hang from branches and poles and there's even a mister to attract hummingbirds.  Volunteers restock the feeders, water the plants and maintain the landscape.

The bird food is kept locked up to protect it from squirrels. You can donate to the bird food fund by sending a check to:

257 S. 45th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Attn: Anne Froehling

We only spotted pigeons today, but I imagine if you are quieter and calmer than a two and four year old you could spot many more species.

I would recommend packing some bug spray because the mosquitos were out in full force.  Still, it was lovely to sit on a bench in the shade while the kids "hiked" the paths and looked for birds.  I bet it would be a great spot to read if you are sans children.

Are there more of these kinds of serene spots hidden away just blocks from where we live and play?  This and the BioPond are so fantastic - I don't want to be missing out on any other hidden oases.


  1. butwait6/24/2014

    Have you been to Bartram's Garden yet?! One of my all-time favorite Philly oases: http://www.bartramsgarden.org

  2. This is crazy, it's literally my back yard, but I didn't know about this. I mean, I should see this when I look out my kitchen window:) Well, I've sometimes seen people there and wondered who has access to this part of the yard. Haha. I will definitely check this out when I return to Philly:)

  3. addie métivier6/25/2014

    wow, what? i've been by there hundreds of times. can't wait to tell Seuss and Z!

  4. I haven't! It always seems too far to walk and I thought there was an entry fee. Looking at the website I see it's free and there is a trolley stop there. Need to add it to my list to check out! Thanks!

  5. That is too funny! Maybe we will see you there one day!

  6. That's what I said! Have fun!