The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Attracting Hummingbirds and Orioles

  Sweets for the Sweet In May, we begin to see the arrival of hummingbirds, orioles and warblers. The beautiful but elusive warblers are generally happy within the safe cover of trees to provide a healthy diet of insects, but hummingbirds and orioles will come to gardens and feeders if we provide what they love … Read more

GARDEN GATE: Episode 278 – Setting Up a Feeding Station (Oct 27, 2023)

Fall is the perfect time to set up a bird feeding station. The weather is just starting to change and it’s best to get the poles in the ground before it freezes. Unlike a shepherds hook, with our pole system you can customize the height with extensions and even add additional hangers. This can be … Read more

What’s up with all the Red-winged Blackbirds this year?

We’ve been hearing a LOT of reports of high numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds (RWBL) in the area, even in places where there aren’t any wetlands. So what’s up? Science nerd here. Bear with me… I don’t know what’s up! So, the first thing I wanted to do was find out if there are, in fact, … Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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