Last week brought great excitement to the 70-acre Lost River nature park. Marylyn Simmons, of Smiths Grove, Ky., and her grandson Jarrod Knight, arrived at Lost River Cave with one goal in mind: to repopulate the area’s depleted bird population.
“You just don’t hear the chirping that you used to,” said Simmons, in an interview with the Bowling Green Daily News. “People have over-hunted and the birds are losing their habitat.”
After making arrangements with Annie Holt, operations supervisor of Lost River Cave, Simmons and Knight arrived early Wednesday morning with three coveys (small flocks of birds) in tow and a hope of hearing birds singing throughout the entire valley.
Simmons has had experience raising birds before, but her populations were continuously preyed upon by other animals near her home. She decided that the area around her home was not safe enough for the birds and says that she took great care in selecting a site that will provide a sanctuary from flying predators.
Simmons, and Lost River Cave staff chose three places in the valley to release the three-month-old partridges. These non-migratory birds will join with other birds, squirrels, rabbits, butterflies, and fox that live in the valley’s protective habitat that is filled with places for animals to hide.
An additional three pheasants were left in the operations office to be raised for a few months until they are ready to be released into the valley with the other birds.
“These new members of the Lost River Cave family are an added bonus to the park,” says executive director Rho Lansden. “I can only imagine the happy chirping we will be hearing within the coming months. The valley will literally come to life with the sweet songs that fill the air!”
Check out these photos of the songbird release at Lost River Cave and Valley!