When Birdhouses Aren’t Just for the Birds
When can a walk in the woods not only bring us closer to nature but also reveal the past and character of The County? When it’s a trip to Birdhouse City, where The County’s natural beauty is showcased and its history remembered.
This whimsical park located at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area offers an amusing and unique opportunity to learn more about Prince Edward County. Almost 100 birdhouses perch in their ‘City’ to provide safe nesting places for wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, tree swallows and purple martins, while delighting human visitors with their ‘takes’ on what makes up The County.
Some birdhouses represent wonderful places and structures from the past which no longer exist, others depict localities that you might see on a drive around The County, and some are just inspired by experience and imagination.
The anchor of the City is the show stopping, massive birdhouse that started it all – the Massassauga Park Hotel – 21 square feet of floor space with more than 80 apartments and 3,000 miniature shingles.
Other Birdhouse City homes include the beautiful Christ Church, a modest RCAF Home, an Octagonal House, the charming West Lake Boarding School, a sturdy Picton Armoury, the sweet Gilead Schoolhouse #10, a fine-looking Merrill Inn, the beckoning Salmon Point Lighthouse, a stunning Longhouse, and the remarkable Crystal Palace. And the City is not without services and comforts – schools, restaurants, banks, inns and bed & breakfasts, and even a country store! Beyond the obvious, many of these birdhouses represent something special from someone’s past – maybe travel, a favourite place they liked to dine at, a family home, a cottage they summered at, or their childhood school.
But the best part is what isn’t seen, but heartfelt. The connection between the founders – the people in the past who came together to build Birdhouse City in the late 1970s, and the people today who donate their time and talent to keep this magical place open for all to enjoy. The City has existed for more than 40 years through the love and support of the residents of Prince Edward County.
Located in the Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, the City is maintained and managed by volunteers with the generous support of the community and in partnership with Quinte Conservation.
Consider exploring Birdhouse City by through the free History Takes Flight walking tour and scavenger hunt!