Here a few tips to attract birds to your property by providing food and shelter.
Plant native species: Check out CVC’s Plant List for Breeding Birds
Install a habitat structure: Provide nesting boxes on your property. More information here.
Provide an early food source for hummingbirds: Ruby-throated hummingbirds have ferocious appetites after their 800 km journey, zipping around looking for nectar. In mid-May many flowers have not yet bloomed, so they feed on the sweet sap oozing from holes on tree trunks drilled by yellow-bellied sapsuckers. These small but strong hummingbirds need to refill their stomach every 7 to 12 minutes to keep up with their high energy needs. They flap their wings an average of 53 times per second!
To help hummingbirds refuel, put out a hummingbird feeder with a sugar-water mix.
– Boil 4 cups of water
– Pour hot water into a metal mixing bowl
– Add 1 cup of white sugar to it (4 parts water to 1 part sugar)
– Stir mixture until dissolved
– Allow mixture to cool, until no longer warm
– Pour mixture into a pitcher, and fill hummingbird feeders
– Clean the hummingbird feeder weekly using a water/vinegar mix. Rinse the feeder thoroughly before refilling.
I’m starting to learn more about birds. This year I’m thinking about joining in on the Christmas Bird Count. Has anyone ever participated? Just wondering what’s involved.
I found a bird count through Bird Studies Canada but am not sure how it works.
Any comments would be helpful!
This spring I saw a male scarlet tanager. I haven’t seen one before, it’s beautiful!
Use this guide with common birds you can see in the countryside: http://www.creditvalleyca.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/FarmBirdspgs.pdf
Tips for Bird Identification
Size – compare the size of the bird to one you know well.
Shape – become familiar with the shapes of different bird groups.
Colour(s) – notice the main colour(s) of the bird.
Field mark – make note of any obvious patterns and markings.
Behaviour – notice posture, feeding habits and location and flight patterns.
Habitat – notice if the bird is in a forest, meadow or near water
Sound – with practice you can identify birds just by their song. Learning mnemonics (using words that mimic the rhythm and pattern of a bird’s song) can help you remember some songs.
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