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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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Garden Gate: Episode 210 -Eliminating Grackles and starlings (Feb. 26, 2021)

Once we hit March, the grackles and starlings are starting to show up at feeders again. They can be so annoying and will take over your bird feeders and scare away all the more appealing birds. On this episode I show you some different feeders, and seed that you can offer to help eliminate them […]

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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 Gate: Episode 209 – Plants to attract birds to your garden

Often times our customers will wonder why they aren’t getting birds to their feeders. On this episode I show you some different trees, shrubs and perennials that you can add to your garden to attract a wider variety of birds. Birds are not attracted to yards with only grass. They find food in trees, shrubs […]

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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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Garden Gate: Episode 208 – Building a squirrel proof bird feeding station (Jan 29, 2020)

Setting up a squirrel proof bird feeding station can be done! You just need to be smarter than the squirrels! And I think you are! Squirrels can climb poles, clothes lines, shepherds hooks and they can jump up 4-5′. Squirrels can also launch themselves 10-12′ from deck rails, gazebos, your roof, trees, clothes lines etc. […]

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Garden Gate: Episode 207 – Photography tips (Jan 15, 2021)

It’s fun to watch the birds but it’s also great to be able to photograph them to share with friends and family. Cell phones are ok, but having a good camera with an additional zoom lens makes your pictures even more interesting. My go to camera shop is Peterborough Photo in downtown Peterborough. The staff […]

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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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Garden Gate: Episode 202 – Compare the quality (Nov. 6th, 2020)

Customers often talk about the price of bird food when they should be considering the QUALITY! On this episode I dissect a bag of box store bird food. Even I was shocked at how poor the quality was. Birds don’t eat wheat or milo which is in high quantities in box store mixes. Even the […]

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