Tips & Tricks for Attracting Year-Round Birds to Your Backyard
Many bird species throughout The Land Between stay in Canada year-round, rather than migrating South in the wintertime. Chickadees for example, do not actually migrate south, but rather move around a lot, looking for food and habitat. Black-capped Chickadees are the most common Chickadee you will find in The Land Between, wintering in large flocks with other small birds. Other birds you may see in the winter time include Ruffed grouse, Spruce grouse, Barred owl, Great Gray owl, Northern Hawk owl, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Common Raven , Blue Jay, Cark-eyed Junco, Pine Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, Evening Grosbeak, Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Black – backed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, American Goldfinch, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Northern Shrike, Northern Cardinal and White-winged Crossbill (Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve, 2013). There are many tips & tricks you can employ to welcome birds to your backyard year-round.
- The best kind of bird feeders can withstand heavy weather and storms in the winter, while being sturdy enough to keep the seeds dry inside and squirrel free!
- Often, different species of birds are attracted to different styles of feeders. Find out more about feeder types by visiting feederwatch.org.
- The placement of your feeder is also very important. For example, feeders should be kept on windowsills or affixed to windows to avoid injury from taking flight into patio doors, or other windows.
- Cleaning your feeders regularly will help prevent illness in birds visiting your backyard.
- Investigating what types of birds like what types of food can go a long way. For example, cracked corn is a favourite of Blue Jays, but Warblers eat primarily insects, making them more difficult to attract to your backyard.
- Habitat in the winter is very important to year-long birds throughout The Land Between. Tree-covered areas, including woodlots and orchards, often provide important habitat for nest-holes during the winter (Canadian Wildlife Federation, 2019). Avoid clearing your yard of trees and these appropriate habitat features.
- Rotting wood, and evergreens help to provide shelter during ice storms and heavy snowfall. Where possible, try and leave suitable shelter for birds visiting your backyard.
- Some birds, such as Chickadees will hide food throughout its territory for times of decreased food availability, leaving rotting wood and hiding spaces available in your backyard will increase the chances of attracting winter birds.
- The Land Between has over 80 species at risk, including many bird species! Reported sightings help us track population levels, understand threats and highlight significant areas or habitat features for management and conservation. All information is kept private and is not distributed to any third parties without your specific consent. Follow the link to report your bird sightings this winter!
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