How to - Wildlife

How to create a natural bird habitat in your garden

By
Signe Langford

Welcome insect eaters, seed eaters and nectar drinkers to your yard with these key tips


Predators
So, you’ve created a sanctuary for your feathered friends, now it’s your duty to keep your new residents as safe as possible. Sure, nature isn’t fair, and yes, crows, hawks and racoons will make a meal of a baby bird. But that is nature in balance. On the other hand, when Fluffy from next door, his tummy full of kitty kibbles kills an endangered songbird, that throws nature completely out of balance. House cats are not an indigenous species in North America and are responsible for an estimated one billion songbird deaths per year. Ask your neighbours to keep their cats indoors, especially during spring and summer when baby birds are on the ground and completely vulnerable. At the very least, ask them to put a bell around kitty’s neck.

Go green
Ditch all your pesticides and weed killers—responsibly, of course! Lawn chemicals kill millions of songbirds each year. Hey, come to think of it, why not ditch the lawn altogether? Environmentalists call grass lawns “green concrete.” They’re not natural, use way too much water and don’t provide a habitat for wildlife.

Every little choice matters
Songbirds are in serious decline. We all know that expression “a canary in the coal mine”? Well, we need to think of songbirds as a barometer of the overall health of the planet. Just like the bees—if they’re in trouble, so are we. That’s why every little bit we can do to help really does matter. Here are some helpful resources, full of ideas and advice. And yes, even the coffee you drink can mean life or death to our fragile songbirds!


 

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