We know many of you read that title thinking that we might be getting a wee bit ahead of ourselves with all of this migration talk. Given that we are not even halfway through the month of August, many of us are still happily enjoying the summer.
That said, the reality of this time of year is that migration is certainly upon us!
While most of us think of migration simply as a coming or going of certain bird species (you are kind of right!), there is a lot more to it than just that.
While many species do come and go here in the Ottawa area, many are also passing through from northern locales – making it a very special time of the year indeed.
With all of this activity going on and the eventual influx of activity scheduled for the coming weeks, many of the visitors we get in the store ask us what they can do to aid their birds while either on their way south or busy preparing to depart.
Here’s what we usually recommend for the month of August:
Water & Food
This one is a given but given the heat, we’ve been having lately a very important one. We know birds require the right food to perform their day-to-day activities but we must not forget how important it is for those that are migrating. Obviously, this takes a substantial toll on traveling birds who require the right denominations of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Our seasonal blends do just that, so ensure your feeders remain full for the coming months.
Likewise, hydration is even more important – always ensure those bird baths are clean and filled with fresh water.
Dim the Lights
Many of our migrating birds depart under the guise of night. Given this, extensive research has been put into the effects that artificial light has on the migration patterns of birds and it isn’t good.
The truth is, our artificial lights oftentimes interfere with the view of the night sky and most importantly, the stars, which birds use to migrate during the night. Where and when possible, turn off any unused or unnecessary outdoor lighting to help our birds find their way.
Lock Up the Cat
We all love cats. When it comes to birds, however, this is not traditionally a friendly relationship.
Statistically speaking, cats account for the death of more songbirds than by any other means here in North America followed closely by window strikes. While we realize that many cats enjoy the great outdoors (and are entitled to them), during this sensitive time of year, their time should be limited or at least remain under close supervision.