Bird Migration is a fascinating time for many bird lovers. It is also a fun time for many people who feed the birds. You can witness migration in your own backyard by adding feeders and birdbaths for birds.
More than 75% of Canadian bird species spend at least half the year outside Canada. When the plentiful food and warm weather of Canadian summers end, migratory birds leave for nicer climates. But migration is risky. Travelling hundreds or thousands of kilometres, birds must find food, shelter, and safe passage. Both en-route and at their destinations. They depend on a chain of stopover sites between their breeding habitats and wintering habitats. If habitat is lost or damaged at any one of these points in their annual journey, it can have drastic consequences.
Hummingbird & Cedar Waxwings on their way…
We are at the closing week of summer in Canada. Sunlight is weaker and leaves are drooping. Nature is winding down and fall is here. Fall starts in the middle of September but some migrating birds, like hummingbirds (Ruby-throated), the journey south started by end of August.
Fall is a great time to make sure your feeders are clean, in good repair and most importantly filled with high energy food.
By August and September, hummingbirds are moving south, refuelling their bodies in the early morning, traveling midday, and foraging again in the late afternoon to maintain their body weight. It’s better to keep their feeders in your backyard to help them sustain their journey. August brings lots of activity, when we have 2-5 Ruby-throated hummingbirds at a time, with peak numbers in early September when we typically spot as many as 5-10 hummingbirds at a time as part of the fall migration. Always keep your hummingbird feeder clean and filled with fresh nectar. This is vital because waiting too long to clean your feeder builds up mold to grow inside, which may be poisonous to all feeding hummingbirds.
LOOK FOR: Ruby-throated hummingbird, cedar waxwing
Where: Holiday Beach, Hawk Cliff, Point Pelee, Long Point, Prince Edward Point
Migration peak: Early to mid September
For a more complete listing of the fall migration in Ontario, visit the ON Nature section of Ontario Nature’s website, www.ontarionature.org.
Attend to bird feeding stations : Fall is the perfect time to attend to your bird feeding stations. Take the opportunity to clean and repair your feeders now, because who really wants to care for feeders during winter weather? Fall is also a great time to move bird feeding stations closer to the house. Plus, regularly moving feeding stations prevents buildup of debris under the feeder, making it healthier for ground-feeding birds.
Provide a moving water source: Providing water can be as simple as putting out a birdbath, to get birds accustomed to the bath. Birds will notice the water as they go to the feeder.
Having a source of water (especially a moving source) can help attract more migratory birds. Motion on the water’s surface or the noise of falling water is like magnet to the birds. Add one of our water wigglers it’s a great way to get the water moving for any bath.
As always, we’re here to be your one-stop resource for information, advice and anything else you might need to create a feathery oasis in your backyard.
Happy fall from all of us at Urban Nature Store!
~ Daniel Oommen
Urban Nature Store carries the largest selection of bird feeders in Canada. Find one that is perfect for your backyard!