It seems as if the Labour Day weekend was just here, but in reality, we are just rolling along here through the end of the month of September. As most of you will have noticed, despite having some beautiful warm weather, our overnight temperatures here in Ottawa and the surrounding areas are beginning to drop.
While we have already bid farewell to a number of our backyard birds, there are still many species around that are busy preparing for their southbound trek. Although this time of year is plenty of fun for birders, it is imperative that we all remain diligent in keeping our feeders full of the right kind of seed, giving our back yard birds everything they need to fly south this fall.
Here’s what’s been happening out there…or at least in our yard over the past couple of weeks.
Cardinals Are in Flocks
This is a great time of year to spot a pair or group of cardinals as they are busy foraging for food. Those aggressive males from the spring have since dealt with their hormones and now travel in flocks ranging from 12 to 24 birds at a time.
With this in mind, if you are in an area that is home to a large population of cardinals, our specially-formulated Cardinal Blend seed is the best source of nutrition you can offer these year-round residents. Made up of both high-grade black oil sunflower seed and safflower seed, this blend is high in protein and is a great seed to offer these birds all winter long.
These guys are very active this time of year, particularly the juveniles in the group. The reason for this is the unusually late nesting season of goldfinch, which nest from the middle of August into September, hence the increased number of juveniles. You will also begin to notice the dramatic change in the male’s plumage, which will soon turn from vibrant yellow to an olive-green colour.
Nyjer seed tubes are a sure-fire way to get a glimpse of these busy birds this time of year, but will require constant maintenance over the next few weeks. Once they find a reliable food source, they will drain it as quickly as possible, so be sure to keep those feeders full.
Yes, there are still some here. As many of you know, we created a little area of wild habitat in our yard to not only attract birds, but also pollinators and insects. This area of our yard has been particularly busy as of late, especially with our hummingbirds as they feed on the wild flowers. It seems as if the males, for the most part, have left town already, but there are still a number of females and juvenile hummingbirds in our neck of the woods.