Summer is in full swing, which means the summer birds have arrived! In Ontario, you can enjoy the melodious songs of numerous songbird species throughout the summer. Some popular songbirds you may encounter include the American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Meadowlark, and the House Finch. Other notable summer songbirds in the region include the Indigo Bunting, Yellow Warbler, Song Sparrow, and the Common Yellowthroat. These birds add vibrant colours and beautiful melodies to the natural soundscape, making summer an ideal time for bird enthusiasts to listen to and appreciate their songs.
Summer is also a peak nesting season for many bird species. Various birds build their nests during the warm months to lay eggs and raise their young. Some common nesting birds in Ontario include the American Robin, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, and Tree Swallow. Other species, like the House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Chipping Sparrow, also build nests during the summer months. It’s fascinating to observe their nesting behaviours and witness the care they provide to their offspring during this time of the year.
The last nesting bird of the summer in Ontario, would typically depend on the specific species and environmental conditions. However, one bird that commonly nests later in the summer is the American Goldfinch. They often delay their breeding until July or August, when thistles and other plants produce ample seeds for their diet. The female goldfinch constructs a cup-shaped nest woven with plant fibres, usually placed in a shrub or tree. These charming birds can be observed nesting and raising their young towards the end of the summer season in Ontario.
You can encourage more birds to nest in your backyard or garden by putting out and maintaining nesting boxes! Here at Gilligallou Bird we offer a wide variety of nesting boxes.
Like humans and other animals, birds can overheat during the summer, especially during heatwaves. They have several strategies to stay cool during the hot summer months:
- SEEKING SHADE: Birds often seek out shaded areas, such as the canopy of trees or dense vegetation, to escape direct sunlight and reduce heat absorption.
- BATHING & WATER SOURCE: Birds use water to cool down. They may take frequent baths in shallow water sources like birdbaths, puddles, or even sprinklers. They also drink water to stay hydrated, which aids in regulating their body temperature. Adding a birdbath to your backyard or garden is a great way to encourage more birds to visit!
- SPREADING WINGS & FEATHERS: Some birds, like raptors or large birds, spread their wings to increase air circulation and allow heat to dissipate. They may also fluff their feathers to create air pockets, which insulate them from excessive heat.
- PANTING: Similar to dogs, some birds pant to regulate their body temperature. Panting increases airflow and facilitates evaporative cooling.
- SEEKING HIGHER ALTITUDES: Some bird species, like raptors, take advantage of thermals—updrafts of warm air—to soar higher in the sky, where temperatures are cooler.
- BEHAVIOURAL ADAPTATIONS: Birds may adjust their activities to avoid the hottest parts of the day. They may be more active during the cooler morning and evening hours while resting or seeking shade during the midday heat.
These are just a few ways birds adapt and cope with the summer heat, allowing them to maintain optimal body temperatures and thrive in their environments. One of the biggest ways you can help our feathered friends stay cool during the summer heat is to have a water source in your backyard!
Having water in your backyard, such as a birdbath or a small pond, can provide several benefits for birds during the summer:
- DRINKING: Birds need access to fresh water for hydration. By having a water source in your backyard, you provide them with a reliable spot to drink and replenish their fluids, especially during hot weather when natural water sources may be scarce.
- BATHING: Birds regularly bathe to keep their feathers clean and in good condition. A birdbath or shallow pool of water allows them to splash around and remove dirt, parasites, and excess oil from their feathers.
- COOLING OFF: Birds can cool themselves by wetting their feathers. They may dip their bodies or wings into the water and then flutter or shake their feathers to create evaporative cooling. This helps them regulate their body temperature during hot days.
- ATTRACTING BIRDS: Water features in your backyard can act as a magnet for birds. The sight and sound of moving water can attract various bird species, providing you with the opportunity to observe and enjoy their presence.
- WILDLIFE HABITAT: Water sources can support a diverse range of wildlife beyond birds. Frogs, insects, and other creatures may be attracted to your backyard water feature, creating a mini-ecosystem and enhancing biodiversity.
Remember to clean and refill the water regularly to ensure it remains fresh and inviting for the birds. On extremely hot days, changing or refilling the water is suggested so it is fresh and cool. Providing water in your backyard is a simple yet effective way to support and attract avian visitors, making your outdoor space more vibrant and enjoyable.
Shop bird baths here!
Summers in Ontario are a fantastic time for bird enthusiasts and a great time to get into backyard birding! Listen for the cheerful song birds, watch for nesting birds, and add a water source to your backyard to attract more birds this summer.
If you’ve got a tip or comment on summer birds, leave a comment!