Just because you don’t have a backyard doesn’t mean you can’t still observe avian life from the comfort of your home. Here are a few ideas to make your own aerie a little more bird-friendly.
Hang a balcony feeder
If you have a balcony and your building allows bird feeders, you might be surprised who will show up to eat the birdseed you provide. House finches – small, dark red songbirds – are particularly adventurous, and have been spotted at feeders as high as 20 floors up. Hummingbirds are also known to visit balcony feeders for a sip of their favourite nectar. To avoid making a mess (both on your balcony and your neighbours’ below) opt for hulled seeds and keep your feeder away from the balcony’s edge.
Grow a container garden
Birds are always on the lookout for safe, sheltered places to perch and nest, and that could include your balcony. The best way to create a habitat for local birds is to grow flowers, bushes and shrubs in containers, particularly native species. These won’t just attract birds, but potentially bees and butterflies as well.
Watch for raptors
Most birds don’t often venture far from the protective canopy of the treetops, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your binoculars to good use from a high-rise window. Raptors, particularly Peregrine Falcons have become year-round dwellers in many Canadian cities, where gravel rooftops and concrete ledges take the place of their traditional cliffside nesting sites. The Peregrine Falcon hunts on the wing, diving at speeds up to 390 km/h(!) to nab pigeons and other flying prey. Keep an eye on the skies at dawn and dusk to catch this incredible bird in action.
Treat your windows
Being a responsible birder also means making sure your home isn’t a hazard to your winged neighbours. In a condo, this means treating your windows with a bird-safe film to make the glass more visible, and help prevent window strikes that kill millions of birds each year. Urban Nature Store offers wide selection of window alerts.
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