Posted on

Those epaulets! On Red-winged Blackbirds…

Even many non-birders are familiar with Red-winged Blackbirds. They breed in wet areas including cattail marshes and roadside ditches, and, as their name indicates, they’re black with red (and yellow) epaulets on their shoulders. Their song is a loud “o-kra-lee!” We’re hearing from you that there seems to be more red-wings around this year than […]

Read more

Posted on

Feeder interlopers – on grackles and starlings

You’ve bought and/or cleaned your feeders. You’ve taken the time to set up your feeding station to maximize the numbers of birds and bird species that might use it. You’ve purchased high-quality, non-GMO bird feed and have stocked your station. You’ve waited with excitement to see who comes to use your new arrangement. …Common Grackles […]

Read more

Posted on

It’s a challenging time for birds. And bird lovers…

Spring migration is a physically demanding time for birds. Imagine the physicality of flying from Central or South America with the added challenges of unpredictable food sources and confusing high-rise tower lights along the way. This is a time when readily available energy can literally mean life or death. Bird feeders well-stocked with high-quality, high-fat […]

Read more

Posted on

GARDEN GATE: Episode 231 -Last minute Christmas gift ideas (Dec 17, 2021)

On this episode I share some ideas for last minute gift ideas. Beautiful Stitch by Stitch ornaments are always popular. Hand made and Fair trade. We also have an interesting suet feeder that looks like a cute owl, compressed seed gifts for the birds, beautiful soaps and hostess napkins by Michel Design Works, tea towels, […]

Read more

Posted on

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 […]

Read more

Posted on

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 […]

Read more

Posted on

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 […]

Read more

Posted on

Garden Tips: Where are all the birds?

Lots of folks are asking why there are so few birds at their feeders this winter, as compared to last year. The answers to these types of questions are never as straightforward as we might think. To start off, different numbers of birds are here from one winter to the next. A variety of factors […]

Read more

Posted on

Garden Gate: Episode 176 – Repairing bird feeders (Oct. 25th, 2019)

At The Avant-Garden Shop we carry a wide variety of bird feeders but the most popular and best quality are those from Brome, Droll Yankees and Aspects. These feeders are made from high quality materials that last a lifetime. The tubes are made from a special UV protected plastic that doesn’t yellow or crack. The […]

Read more

Posted on

Garden Tips: All that Glitters is Gold(finches)

The Peterborough area is blessed with an abundance of American Goldfinches, which some people call Wild Canaries. Male Goldfinches are a rich lemon-yellow, with black wings, a black tail, and a black “toupee.” Females are a paler yellow and lack the toupee (perhaps the males struggle with male pattern baldness?). Goldfinches alternate between flapping their […]

Read more