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JUNE 17 - JUNE 25, 2014

Cave Visitors Revel in Birds but Note Stench

June 17, 2014

For visitors, thousands of seagulls nesting with their chicks is beautiful.

The abundance of guano is a minor inconvenience or perhaps amusing.

But, as you consider these online comments of visitors who spent a half an hour at the Cave of the Winds attraction, try to consider what a daily dose means to the health of those who work there as tour guides, and parks maintenance people?

Here are what some visitors said:

One reviewer wrote, ""The smell of guano is strong in the air. For what you're about to experience though, it is totally worth it."

Another visitor commented , "There are thousands of gulls and other birds that use the Goat Island cliff between the falls as a nesting area. Our feathered friends eat. Then they get airborne. … the area around the Cave deck looks like an avian Jackson Pollack art installation, with the appurtenant odors that accompany said artistry."

"There are lots of gulls and droppings around so I would recommend keeping your hood on to & from the tunnel."

"The pathway from the bottom of the elevator to the Cave of the Winds is a bit malodorous and dotted with seagull droppings "

"Guano-splattered graphics claimed the breeding colony at Niagara was the largest in New York State and one of the largest in the Great Lakes."

"It stinks of seagull poop."

"Seagulls everywhere . . . and droppings everywhere too."

"I think the poncho was better protection from seagull droppings than from the waterfall, because you'll get soaked anyway if you walk to the 'Hurricane Deck'."

"Littered with a multitude of seagull droppings."

"There is the bird poop stench at the entrance, but it quickly dissipates as soon as you get close to the water."

"The ponchos they provide you are for the bird droppings, not the water from the falls."

"And as if that weren't enough of a challenge, the rocks are home this time of year to one of the largest and most diverse concentration of gulls in the world. … So you have to be sure to keep your head covered when down on the decks to protect you from the wind, rain, spray from the falls and now lots of bird droppings!"

"The bird droppings were nasty smelling, to be certain, and there were thousands of birds, so I think you can understand where I'm coming from with this. Never mind; I braved the stench and enjoyed the view. The birds were a delight to watch; parents moving eggshells from the nests, little fuzzy speckled gray balls of chicks clustered together, making a racket with hopes food was nigh."

One person even wrote a Haiku about it

Cave of the Winds tour

A romantic name

for a seagull poop splashed walk

among spray and rocks.

One constant theme of almost every reviewer was the wonder of the tour:

There are a lot of shameless tourist traps at the falls but this attraction is definitely worth your money! Nothing else gets you this close to the bottom of the falls. On the Hurricane Deck you can literally let the water from Bridal Veil falls wash right over you! It's exhilarating!





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