Helping out birds

Richmond is full of wonderful birds. As we continue to urbanize the city, pushing birds to the outskirts, we need to give them a hand.

 

 

Spring:

  • Check bird feeders
    • Replace broken ones or fix up anything broken
  • Add a birdbath or clean out your current birdbath
  • Plant native flowers
    • Include sunflowers – their seeds in late summer are a great food source
  • Clean your birdfeeder
    • Spring is a great time to do some maintenance
    • It should be cleaned every two weeks or so
  • Use only natural treatments on your garden
    • Any pesticides, herbicides or homemade remedies will have an impact on birds

 

 

Summer:

  • Add a birdbath to your garden
    • Any shallow dish will work but terra cotta is preferred
    • Add stones for the birds to be able to perch
    • Birds are attracted to moving water – add a waterfall or a bottle with holes punched in to add moving water
    • Clean the bath regularly
    • Place it in an area safe from predators

 

 

Fall:

  • Keep your garden a little messy
    • Leave seeds, especially sunflower seeds, in the garden as a food source
    • Keep foliage for birds to nest in or to build their nest from
  • Put up a bird feeder
    • Add seeds, natural peanut butter or other nut butters, suet
    • Feeders allow resident birds to build up enough energy for the winter
    • Don’t put the feeder too close to a window to prevent collisions
  • Leave fallen leaves under trees
    • This provides shelter for birds
    • Attracts insects that are another source of food
  • Put up decals on windows to prevent bird strike
    • Migrating birds are at a higher risk of striking windows
    • They can be disorientated or distracted by light pollution
  • Clean out bird boxes

 

 

Winter:

  • Put up bird boxes in sheltered areas
    • Make sure they’re clean and windproof
    • Paint the in darker colours to absorb the most heat from the sun
    • Add nesting material so birds can fill holes
      • Woodchips, dry grass, dead leaves, animal fur
  • Water is integral for bird survival in the winter
    • Be careful as birds can easily freeze if they touch ice or cold water then something metal
    • Place a plastic grate over the birdbath to prevent them from touching the water, but also lets them drink
  • Fill the bird feeders with high-calorie seeds and suet
    • Black oil sunflower seed
    • Peanuts
    • Millet
    • Fresh or dried fruit, can be mixed into suet
  • Add some salt to the bird feeder

 

**Try to avoid bird seed mixes that have a lot of corn, wheat, & milo