The month of May is like Christmastime for birders. Migration is in full swing and we’re seeing our tropical coloured birds returning to our gardens. The orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks and hummingbirds are back. Take some time to visit your local parks and conservation areas to see the many amazing, vibrant warblers passing through during the month of May. This chance only comes once a year.
You will want to make sure your feeders are clean and full. Keep in mind that there are ground feeders such as the white-throated and white-crowned sparrows who spend time with us before heading further north to their breeding grounds. If you’re spending time cleaning your garden, leave an area to sprinkle some seed on the ground for these birds. You will be rewarded by hearing the relaxing melodies of their beautiful songs. If you listen carefully you will hear the white-throated sparrow sing, ‘sweet, sweet, Canada Canada Canada’.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to put your birdbath out. Offering water for the birds will attract species who don’t dine at your feeders. Consider adding a solar powered bubbler to go with your birdbath. Birds love the sound of moving water. When considering where to place a birdbath there are a few things to think about. Birds naturally look for water sources close to the ground so you may want to keep the bath one to three feet off the ground. After bathing they need a place to perch and preen their feathers. If you can situate the birdbath close to trees or shrubs you will give them easy access to nearby branches . If your birdbath is deeper than two inches, place a rock or some pebbles in the base to help the smaller birds feel safe while drinking and bathing.
Whether you’re hiking or relaxing in your backyard, stop and take time to enjoy this magical time of year. It will be sure to bring a smile to your face.
By Jane Paradis