Explore Your Yard: Backyard Birding
Backyard birding is a great activity for people of all ages. It gets the whole family outside and that’s a great place to be for both our physical and mental health! Birds come in all colours of the rainbow and all shapes and sizes. Check out our Birding Guide to learn about some of the best ways to attract birds to your yard or how to identify the types of birds you see. Birding is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn and appreciate our natural habitats here in Windsor Essex.
No matter if you are a self proclaimed ‘bird nerd’ or just getting into the fun adventure of bird spotting, we’ve put together a few fun ideas to help you make your yard more welcoming to our flocked friends so that you can have fun with this new hobby!
Create a Welcoming Space
Habitat loss is one of the most significant reasons for bird population decline. Urban gardens can provide much needed food and resting spots for birds in Windsor-Essex. Here’s some tips to encourage these amazing visitors to your yard. Keep in mind different species have various habitats and food preferences.
- Putting up a simple bird feeder is the first step and an easy way to bring more birds to your yard. If you don’t have a feeder you could also scatter some birdseed in your yard.
- Make sure to choose the right birdseed and food. You may need to do a bit of research since some birds prefer feeding only on the ground, others prefer a hanging feeder and others will use a feeding shelf or tray. Some eat small seeds while others pick out large sunflower seeds. Some want to eat alone, while other birds like to eat in unison at feeders.
- Adding a bird house as shelter is great for birds. You can also provide some natural vegetation that will act as shelter too. In the spring and summer you can get birds to nest in your yard if you provide nesting places like native shrubs and nest boxes. More birds may stay near your yard in the winter if you can offer shelter such as native trees and shrubs or brush piles where they can roost away from the cold winds.
- A bird bath is a great feature to add to your yard. An obvious and abundant supply of water will be a stopping place for many species that are passing through. Ponds and other water sources are also wonderful additions to your yard.
Native Plant and Pollinators
- When designing your garden, try to include layers of vegetation in your garden – tall and short trees, shrubs, wildflowers and groundcovers that copy natural landscapes. Some locally native tree and shrub species recommendations include: White Cedar, Hackberry, Highbush Cranberry, Silver Maple, Nannyberry, Serviceberry Dogwood varieties, White Pine, White Oak, Red Oak and Elderberry. Many birds eat insects and planting native grasses such as Big Bluestem, Bee Balm, New England Aster will support backyard populations for a food source.
Birds You Can Find in #YQG
Are you wondering what types of feathered friends you will be able to spot in your yard or out on the trails? Check out our Birding Guide!
We’ve put together some of the most commonly seen species each season for you so you know what to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for! There is also a map of the primary birding sites in Windsor Essex where birds tend to visit.
Play along with our backyard BINGO
Why not grab your binoculars and see how many species & other bird friends you can find over these next few months! Keep your eyes out for cardinals and warblers and even butterflies!
CLICK HERE to download our “BIRDO” Bingo Game and see just who you can spot on your next birding adventure! Challenge your neighbours to see who can count more!
Check out our Birding Guide to see which birds visit each season, our local birding spaces and much more! Our local libraries also are a great resource for some bird-watching books to help you get to know who you are looking for. Making your own feeders is a great hands-on craft experience that the whole family can do together or join Point Pelee National Park for some of their virtual events coming up to help you learn more about species that are native to this area!