Spring has sprung and migratory birds are returning from their long journeys from Central and South America. Warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, orioles and flycatchers all arrive by the end of May, making it the best time to birdwatch.
Upon their arrival, birds establish territories, look for mates and make nests. You may see male great crested flycatchers aggressively guarding their nests and chasing away intruders. In the mornings you may hear yellow warblers making a series of whistles that sounds like sweet sweet sweet I’m so sweet, sometimes repeating their song 10 times per minute. Female Baltimore orioles are busy weaving together their delicate-looking nests that hang from tree branches.
You can help provide food and shelter for birds and attract them to your property by following these cardinal rules:
Keep cats indoors. Roaming domestic cats kill birds, as well as small mammals and amphibians.
Make windows visible. Apply visual markers recommended by FLAP to avoid collisions.
Plant native trees and shrubs. Berries provide food and branches provide perches and cover. See CVC’s plant lists for breeding and migrating birds.
Let young birds be. If you find baby birds leave them alone as they are rarely abandoned.
Songbird populations are in decline primarily due to habitat loss. Many songbirds such as tree swallows, wood thrushes and scarlet tanagers call forests home. If you want to grow a forest to help songbirds in need, learn more about CVC’s tree planting and habitat restoration services.
Over the years, the Kerbel family watched their pond slowly build up with silt, reducing water levels and filling with plants. Through discussions with CVC staff, they learned that the pond wasn’t really as natural as they thought and began a restoration project.