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By Natasha Barlow, Gardening for Birds Project Lead, Birds Canada

Sweet, sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet – “Oh, listen, a Yellow Warbler! Maybe the pair is nesting in that Pacific Willow”.

“That Eastern Red Elderberry is amazing. I’ve seen hummingbirds and insects visiting the flowers, flycatchers foraging on those same insects, and Cedar Waxwings are enjoying the berries now!”

“The bluebirds are back at the water, taking a bath this time. I haven’t seen them for years!”

A Barred Owl perched in a cedar with its eyes shut
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Yellow Warbler Photo: Daniel Arndt

Does this sound like a birdwatching vacation to you? Or a trip to a local natural area? Or does it sound like something you might say around your own home? If you think that last suggestion sounds far-fetched, consider that a small, urban backyard in Toronto, Ontario, has hosted over 110 species of birds throughout the years. The secret? Gardening for birds.

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Northern Flicker Photo: Daniel Arndt

We all know that nature is under threat. Habitat loss and degradation is still one of the main drivers of bird population declines globally. Birds need your help, and you can be part of the solution. Transform your garden or yard into a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy, while also re-creating habitat for birds. We are excited to launch our Gardening for Birds website, video series, and resources that will help you help birds by making it easy for you to design and plant a garden that is great for birds. Whether you have an existing garden that could use a few tweaks or an expansive lawn that you’re hoping to transform for the benefit of nature, the website, videos, and associated resources will give you a head start on welcoming more birds to your place!

A view of a tidal flat and foreshore on the west coast of British Columbia
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Song Sparrow Photo:Jon Anderson

On the website, you will find details on 500 plant species from which you can select those most compatible with your area and your garden plan. To help you further, we’ve created Bird Garden Zones that span across Canada. Depending on where you live, and what conditions exist in your area, you can maximize your gardening successes by choosing plants that fall within these Bird Garden Zones. Once you’re done, you can print out or email yourself a list of plants that will help you successfully garden for birds! Start gardening for birds today by visiting BirdGardens.ca.

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Mountain Bluebird Photo: Daniel Arndt

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