I found myself with a Saturday that was completely unspoken for this past weekend, and Raymond expressed a strong desire to get out of the house for a while. We decided to go on a photo safari and set about looking for interesting subject matter.
Allison, browsing the web, emcountered a web site that looked interesting. Duffie’s Exotic Bird Ranch in Dunn, NC was just a couple of hours away and purported to have a large collection of birds. Being bird people, how could we not check it out? Off we went, westward into the setting sun.
We arrived at about 5:00 PM and, following the GPS, found ourselves in a rural, apparently residential driveway. We were met by owner Bo McLamb, a pleasant older gentleman with a firm handshake and a ready smile. We were given a brief orientation, after which we were free to explore.
I’ve been to a lot of bird exhibits, and if I’m to be perfectly honest, most of them make me sick. I see birds that are malnourished and in poor health, I see birds kept in conditions I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and I see outright abuse. I say that only so that you will know that as I walked among the birds at Duffie’s, I saw none of this, and the smile never left my face. Not only has Mr. McLamb collected an impressive menagerie of unusual and interesting birds, but every one of them is in fine feather and excellent health. While some of the birds, such as the parrots and cockatoos, are confined to enclosures, they’re HUGE enclosures, big enough to fly around in, connected to fully enclosed shelter and well protected from predators. The birds all have ample, flowing water and plenty of food available.
It’s nesting season for ducks, geese, and swans, and we passed many nests being tended by nervous parents who would have really preferred that we just go away, and we did, eventually. It took nearly two hours to walk the full extent of the property, and I came away with some great photos and a lot of respect for a fellow bird lover. (Photos to follow in a day or two.)
If you find yourself in the area and you’re at all interested in birds, stop in, say hello, and take the inexpensive walking tour ($5, a real bargain). Say hello to Mr. McLamb, a fellow with a big heart who has created something really special.