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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 […]

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Garden Tips: Are your feeding efforts helping or harming birds?

Feeding birds can be a source of tremendous pleasure. Whether songbirds at a seed feeder, woodpeckers at suet cage, or ducks and geese by a pond, watching them eat what you offer is at the same time exciting and calming. As the weather gets colder, migrating and overwintering birds can certainly use the extra calories […]

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Garden Tips: Jewels of the Air

Some people refer to hummingbirds (“hummers” to birdwatchers) as “winged jewels,’ which is no surprise, given their small size, the males’ brilliant iridescent colours, and the way they flit about. There are 5 hummingbird species in Canada, but only one, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, in Ontario. Males have bright red throats, iridescent green backs, wings, and […]

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Garden Tips: Cheer up, cheerily! Bird Song vs. Call & Tips to Learn a Few in Your Yard

The air will be increasingly filled with bird song this month as more species return from the south. Learning to identify birds by the sounds they make takes time and effort, but it can deepen your connection to your garden as you become increasingly aware of what’s going on around you. The words “singing” and […]

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Garden Tips: The Woodpeckers, Chickadees, & Nuthatches come Marching in

You may have noticed a loud, sweetly-whistled “Spring’s here!” in recent weeks. This is the song of the Black-capped Chickadee (as is the three-parted “Cheese-bur-ger!”). Many of our year-round bird residents are cavity nesters. Chickadees, nuthatches, and some woodpeckers stay here through the winter, and they’ll start their courtship activities in March. Chickadees Black-capped Chickadees […]

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Garden Tips: Helping Birds through Citizen Science

Birds are in Trouble! The populations of many bird species are declining. The number of individuals of many species is half what it was 4 decades ago and is expected to decrease by another half in the next 40 years. Local Ornithologist (professional bird nerd), Andrew Jobes, has written the blog posts for our monthly […]

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Garden Tips: Backyard Blues (Jays)

Many people who love feeding birds dislike Blue Jays, because they can be loud and aggressive. Although this is true, there’s so much to love about these intelligent and charismatic creatures! Jays are in the Corvid family, which includes ravens and crows. They are very intelligent, capable of problem solving and mimicking the calls of […]

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Garden Tips: Supporting Birds in the Winter

Certain needs must be met to for any living creature to survive: food, water, and shelter from inclement weather and predators. These elements work together to form a critter’s habitat. No matter how ideal a habitat may appear to be in one or more of these areas, it will not be used by wildlife if even […]

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A Pane in the Neck: Reflections on Birds and Windows

We’ve all heard it: the unmistakable thump of a bird smashing into a closed window. We rush outside to assess the situation. With luck, there’s either no bird there or it’s resting on the ground, panting and dazed, and flies away in a few minutes. Sometimes, the little one’s not so lucky. Window strikes are […]

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Garden Gate Episode: 133 – Annual Backyard Bird Count with guest Drew Monkman

  Drew Monkman is a retired teacher, author and local naturalist.  Drew has written the book “Nature’s Year in the Kawartha’s”, an updated version renamed “Nature’s Year” and co-written another “Big Book of Nature” with Jacob Rodenburg of the Kawartha Environment Centre. On this episode of The Garden Gate we talk about the Great Backyard […]

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