Surely some of the most watched and beloved of Canada's wildlife species are the birds we see in our backyards. Robins and woodpeckers, hummingbirds and goldfinches intrigue us with their antics or cheer us with their songs. We may take our birds for granted, yet they have a lot to teach us.
Birds do a fabulous job of helping our ecosystems run smoothly. Here are the top five benefits of healthy bird populations:
- keep insects under control
- pollinate plants and disperse seeds
- bring hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy through bird-watching activities
- provide people of all ages with accessible encounters with nature
- delight and inspire us with their beauty, songs and antics
Did you know 1/3 of North American birds are at risk?
Help the Birds!
The Cry For Help:
Canada is home to about 630 species of birds but about 15 per cent are at risk of extinction. Predators, invasive species, climate change, disease, and toxic chemicals are among many dangers birds face in their short lives. The biggest threat is disruption and loss of habitat.
It’s a complicated problem as birds depend on many habitats for survival including summer nesting homes, winter homes as well as rest and re-fuelling stopovers in between those two residences and feeding and roosting areas.
An important step to reverse these trends begins in your backyards.
The nest egg:
Like you, birds need a spot to call home to survive. They need the four basics: food, water, shelter, and space. If birds are flitting about your yard it’s is a sign that survival basics are nearby. If birds fly over your area without stopping, something important may be missing. Think about it from the bird's view. If you were a bird, would you visit your yard or neighbourhood? Is there water nearby? Are trees close-by for nesting, perching, shelter, and viewing? Is food near? Is there enough space without feeling crowded?
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