Marston woman raises foreign fowl in back yard NORTHWEST * Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown


September 16, 1993|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

Nancy Hann of Marston has an unusual extended family. Her pets have ancestors from around the world. What makes them unusual, though, are their webbed feet and smooth feathers.

Mrs. Hann is an avid aviculturist. Her pets consist of more than 42 species of exotic birds, some of which are nearing endangered status. New Zealand shelducks, African cape teal, Chilean Magellan geese, Falkland Islands coscoroba, and her favorite, an Australian Cape Barren named "Miss Piggy" because of her grunting, have found refuge in Mrs. Hann's backyard sanctuary.

In addition to breeding her birds for personal enjoyment, Mrs. Hann has sold her prized possessions to other breeders. But, she said, she is not one to breed her birds with the intent of selling them.

She interviews prospective buyers to ensure that her birds will be well tended. She said her love and respect for her charges has sometimes prevented sales.

Mrs. Hann uses silky chickens to hatch eggs, rear the offspring and protect each sub-community of fowl. She believes that the ** chickens provide the nurturing and protection the exotic birds need from each other and from predators.

She says that she can predict weather by watching the actions of her birds. For instance, if a flood is expected, birds will lay their eggs higher on the hill of her yard, near the house, instead of in their usual nesting places. If the birds eat their food fast in the cold seasons and "feed up," she will prepare for snow.

"Even though they're captive and reared for many, many generations," she said, "they never lose that instinct."

Foreign fowl raised in captivity reproduce according to the timetable of their own country.

Mrs. Hann says she can distinguish species by the call a bird makes. Coscorobas grunt, white-faced Javen tree ducks from South America whistle, and the male ring teal from South America meows like a cat.

Mrs. Hann has poured her knowledge into a national newsletter that she distributes under the name of the Mid-Atlantic Wildfowl Breeders Association. She began the newsletter with Ned Sibert of Columbia after meeting with a group of wildfowl breeders in York, Pa.

The association and newsletter were formed to work toward the protection, conservation and reproduction of endangered wildfowl species; gain knowledge; distribute information; and encourage public appreciation of wildfowl reproduction, captive breeding and related research.

In the past year, the group has grown to more than 160 members in the United States and Canada. The members take educational trips and play host to guest lecturers who are specialists in various facets of aviary science.

Mrs. Hann will be participating in a tailgate and swap from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Fulls' Maryland Angus Show Cattle and Sale Facility, 3950 Twin Arch Road, in Mount Airy. Exhibits of migratory and exotic ducks, geese, swans, pheasants and game birds will be displayed. Raffles and food will be available.

An auction of donated items -- supplies, feed and various other items -- will be held at 1 p.m.

There is a $5 live bird tailgate fee, and a $25 fee for vendors. Admission and parking are free.

Information: (410) 875-0609.


Tomorrow is the last day to place your order for a princess pine Christmas wreath with Emmanuel (Baust) United Church of Christ in Tyrone.

The cost per wreath is $15. Proceeds from the sale will be used to support the Central Atlantic Conference Appalachian project.

To order, call Jill White at 756-4335.


Join the Pipe Creek Jaycees as they sponsor a New Windsor Fall Fest from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the New Windsor Carnival Grounds off Route 75 behind New Windsor Middle School.

All proceeds from the event will be used for flood relief for victims in Missouri. A donation table will be set up to collect nonperishable items and cash donations.

A breakfast of pancakes and sausage will take place in the kitchen pavilion from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. From 11 a.m. on, lunch will be served in the same building. The menu will include fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, hot dogs, chicken-corn and ham and bean soups, and desserts.

Other events will include face painting, karaoke and country dance lessons. A disc jockey from Dancin' To Country will provide music throughout the day.

There will be an Elvis sighting at noon, when Elvis impersonator Kevin Michael will entertain. Country singer Ronnie Reese will perform at 3 p.m.

Come see the clown, pick up a balloon and take a chance on a door prize. Test the bake table.

The Pipe Creek Jaycees would like to thank Wanda Valentine and her family for supplying baked goods and donating the proceeds to the flood relief effort.

Vendor spaces are available.

Information: Donna Resse, 848-0106.


Hear the William F. Myers Band from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Taneytown Memorial Park, sponsored by Carroll County Bank and Trust. Bring a lawn chair. The Taneytown Recreation Council will provide refreshments. Admission is free.

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