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Garden Tips: Supporting Birds during Migration

Spring migration amps up in April Many bird species return or pass through our region in April and May for the breeding season. Migration is extremely risky for birds: unpredictable weather, predators, window collisions, and food scarcity are all threats, never mind the raw physical exertion needed to fly continuously for hours at a time […]

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Birds, Windows, and Feeder Placement

It’s estimated that windows kill and injure more birds than any other human influence – about 1 billion birds annually in North America alone! Many of these window strikes happen at tall buildings in cities, especially during migration, but residential homes contribute to bird fatalities, as well. Research has identified several factors that contribute to […]

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Garden Tips: Landscaping for birds

The two most recent Garden Gate episodes were filmed in my backyard. The first is about setting up a squirrel-proof bird feeding station. It aired recently and is now on the Avant-Garden Shop’s YouTube channel. The second is about including trees and shrubs in your landscaping plans to attract birds and provide shelter. It may […]

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Why aren’t the birds using my new feeder?

New feeders, pole systems, and baffles to keep squirrels away? Check! New, fresh, high-quality bird seed? Check! Binoculars, identification guide, and excited anticipation about all the birds you’re going to see? Check! Birds? … insert cricket sounds here … So what’s up with that? There are plenty of reasons why there aren’t any birds coming […]

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Ever heard of a Pine Grosbeak or a Bohemian Waxwing?

Last month’s blog post talked about the arrival this winter of Evening Grosbeaks. Another grosbeak, the Pine Grosbeak, is also showing up, which is exciting, because these large, beautiful finches rarely come this far south. If I recall, the only time I’ve ever seen Pine Grosbeaks was in the Hudson Bay Lowlands during the breeding […]

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Seen any Evening Grosbeaks yet?

Not all bird species fly south for the winter, and not all of those that do come as far as Peterborough. Last year was what was called an “irruption year” for birds. Many bird species, such as Pine Siskins, the 2 redpoll species, and Bohemian Waxwings came here in greater numbers than in a typical […]

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Garden Tips: Fall migration’s on its way

As we move into fall, the birds begin their move for the winter. Although there are still plenty of American Goldfinch and Northern Cardinal young begging for food, most of this year’s hatchlings are now fully independent of mom and dad and are footloose and fancy free. As young disperse from their home base, the […]

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All that Glitters IS Gold

American Goldfinches are the latest-breeding songbird species in this area. They molt their feathers a second time in the summer, which is unusual for most bird species and leads to increasingly bright colours as the season progresses. Their song is a cheerful musical babbling, and their flight call – po-ta-to chip! po-ta-to chip! – is […]

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Lions and Tigers and Chipmunks, oh my!

You’ve likely noticed the usual abundance of squirrels and even more chipmunks than usual this year. Animal populations respond to several things in their environments, and food is a major one. This is nuts! You may recall that 2019 was a great year for flowers. It was also a great one for nut-producing trees, like […]

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