Friday, January 18, 2019

A Few more ways that we can Help Birds!

Last week we posted a few easy ideas on how can we all help birds in 2019.  With a huge snow storm headed towards Eastern Canada, we thought we would share a few more!  Remember doing just one or two of these simple things are a huge help to birds in our neighbourhoods!

(1)    First, those of us who are pet owners can be careful to keep our cats indoors.  Surprisingly one of the biggest threats to Backyard Birds are household cats.  Perhaps if your pets want to get outside consider putting them on a leash or in an outdoor enclosure.  Keeping your cat indoors not only helps the birds but it can protect pets from other dangers keeping them safer. 

(2)    Second (and my favourite suggestion) is to become an at home or neighbourhood Citizen Scientist!  Few people outside the scientific community realize that one of the most important forms of Data collection and means of researching and protecting birds is through the contributions of Citizen Scientists!  A Citizen Scientist
is someone who simply reports what they see in their backyards or on the walks in their neighbourhoods!  It is that simple!  By downloading a birding app and reporting what you see scientists are able to learn about the lives of birds, track bird migration and assess changes to bird habitats. In the past decade Citizen Science has produced some very cool findings and often teaches us tons about the natural world!   Programs such as the Backyard Bird Count, Project Feederwatch and Ebird are all great ways to make your observations count!

Since being a Citizen Scientist is so much fun and so helpful why not get others interested?  Birders – like Pokemon Go players – collect lists of everything!  This means that as a local birder you can compete against your friends and family while helping out by reporting your sightings. 

(3)    Third, we can all help to protect regional Marshes, Beaches and other Important Birding Areas.  Some of our favourite places like Beaches have become the unintentional victims of our activities.  This doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy our summers on the Beach it just means that we have to be more careful while out there.  Each of us can avoid littering on the beach or pick up litter while out there.  Garbage destroys natural habitats and attracts predators who threaten shorebirds and their nests.  Avoid littering on beaches as it destroys natural habitats and attracts predators who threaten shorebirds and their nests.  In addition to picking up our litter we can all try to keep our dogs on leashes and avoiding riding our ATVs and snowmobiles in sensitive areas. 

(4)    Finally, we can all work to support Conservation efforts and Nature Organizations who efforts have been invaluable in the protection of birds, their habitats, and wilderness conservation.  Organizations like Bird Studies Canada, FLAP, Nature Canada, Ducks Unlimited, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the National Audubon Association are just a few such organizations worth looking into and supporting.

As always no one expects you to do all of these things, but just picking one or two at the outset of the New Year can make a huge difference to your local bird populations!  Keep reading and every few days throughout January we’ll post more ways in which you can make a huge difference in protecting birds and wildlife in your region!  

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