+ Get Up Close with the Birds in Massachusetts

The Pioneer Valley and Birders Go Together

Snowy owl on Deerfield farm farrowThe Pioneer Valley is a hot spot for birders. Fans gather every year in the spring for  hawk watching, especially along the ridge line at Mount Tom in Easthampton, and the muddy road down to the south meadows in Deerfield was clogged when a young snowy owl landed up here for a few weeks. The blue herons that come down to Broughton Pond are like something from a medieval tapestry in their stylized elegance.

When our children were in elementary school, we would always volunteer to be on any field trip that meant we could listen to Tom Ricardi, a wildlife rehabilitator who runs the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Center from his home in Conway, Massachusetts. He spent more than thirty years as a Fish and Wildlife Game Warden, and has always been especially interested in birds of prey. His stories of rescuing birds that have been victims of the dangers of man and machine are compelling. He has rescued a golden eagle shot in the eye by a hunter, an eastern screech owl from a barbed wire fence, and his center is a labor of love. Some of these birds he is able to rehabilitate entirely, and others that can no longer fend in the wild help with breeding programs. I remember Tom saying he would put mirrors all around the nest of new fledglings and feed them with an oven glove that looked like an eagle’s head so there was never any human imprinting. He has helped introduce strong chicks into the nests of bald eagles in Barton’s Cove when DDT build-up caused the adults to lay thin-shelled eggs that cracked before their own chicks could hatch. Love those kind of success stories!

You can also get up close to some of these majestic birds in a hands-on program with Chris Davis, master falconer, at New England Falconry in nearby Hadley. Experience the handling and flying of a trained Harris hawk while learning about the special adaptations of raptors and the need for their conservation – hawking glove provided! Something quite different that one or two members of your family can do, while the others can be non-participants but still get a sense of the majesty and thrill of these awe-inspiring birds.

For more information about birding at the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, click here.

See other bird-watching programs at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment here.

Let our Deerfield bed and breakfast be your home-base for your birding adventure. We’re located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, just a short drive from these exciting encounters.

To Our Valued Friends & Guests…

Welcome back to The Deerfield Inn. We are so excited to share with you the charm and warmth of the Inn and all of Historic Deerfield’s natural beauty. We want to reassure you that our first responsibility and top priority is the safety and well-being of each of our guests, as well as our team. Please take a moment to review our new wellness measures which are in place for your visit to the Inn. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us directly.

General Property Information

• The Inn is an ideal location to practice physical/social distancing due to the property’s location in beautiful Historic Deerfield. The entire property has been deep cleaned and sanitized and multiple cleanings continue throughout each day. Hand-sanitizer is also available throughout the Inn.
• Guests and team members will observe recommended distancing protocols.
• Personal protection equipment (PPE) amenity kits featuring disinfecting gel, nitrile rubber gloves and masks will be provided upon request for guests.
• We will comply with, or exceed, local or state mandated occupancy limits.
• All team members will receive training on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols with more comprehensive training for our teams with frequent guest contact.
• All team members will be wearing masks for their safety and the safety and comfort of guests. The health of our team members is carefully monitored on a daily basis.

Housekeeping

• Industry leading cleaning, Ultraviolet Lights and sanitizing protocols are used to clean guest rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
• Two levels of housekeeping services will be offered to each guest:
o Housekeeping Limited Service: Our team will access your room once daily to provide service and restock linens and amenities.
o Housekeeping Drop Service: Your fresh linens and towels along with any other requested amenities will be packaged and placed at your door upon your request.
• The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing has been increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces.
• The frequency of air filter replacement and HVAC system cleaning has been increased and fresh air exchange will be maximized.

Dining

• New service options include Dinner on the Lawn, Porch, Terrace and In-Room Service.
• Curbside pick up will be available for To-Go orders.
• Seating capacity has been reduced in Champney’s Restaurant& Tavern based on CDC recommendations.
• At the completion of a dining service, the table, chairs and menus will be sanitized prior to the next seating.
• The spacing of tables has been adjusted to allow for six feet between tables

Wellbeing Plan is subject to change based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control, MA Department of Public Health, American Hotel Lodging Association and all other applicable government authorities.