By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
There is a magical place on Long Island if you like nature, birds, and seeing wild animals up close and personal, and no it’s not the zoo, game park or sanctuary. A nature preserve on the north shore of the South Fork is one of best places on Long Island to observe nature and have wild birds actually land in your hand. The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure that many Long Islanders have either never heard of or have yet to visit. It’s beautiful in every season, but something magical happens when there is a fresh fallen snow. Maybe it’s the fact that there are less people there and more wildlife walking around. The birds are always very active, but in the winter they are amazing. You will never see so many bright red cardinals in one place at one time, and for some Long Islander’s you will see birds you have never seen before at your back yard feeder.
If you are looking for something to do outside with your now cabin fevered up kids, or maybe your kids have never been this close to nature, Morton’s is definitely worth the trip whether you live 5 minutes away or an hour away. There is no other place that I know of like it. On any given day your can see families of deer walking around, wild turkeys who are not the least bit scared of you, bunnies, squirrels, red tailed hawks, and of course the birds: chickadees, nut hatches, blue jays, tons of cardinals, sparrows and many other species, who will literally greet you at the entrance. It’s quite a spectacle.
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