We are less than a week away from the Baillie Birdathon. What’s the Baillie Birdathon, you ask? It’s only the oldest sponsored bird count in North America and each year they raise thousands of dollars and awareness for bird research and conservation. This year, I will be joining David Love and so many other experienced birders at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto on May 14 th for the event.
How it Works
As a participant, you are challenged to identify as many bird species as you can in a 24-hour period during the entire month of May. And this isn’t just something that’s happening in Ontario: this is happening across Canada and even on an international level. Participants, like me, are sponsored by people either at a flat rate or on a per species basis. It’s an incredible endeavour and a great way to learn to recognize birds by their colours or their calls.
Bird is the Word
It’s the word that gets everyone excited about spring. As soon as you see that first robin rooting around the grass for worms, you know warmer days are on their way and you can almost feel the soil slipping through your fingers. Naturally, wanting to attract more birds to your property is the best way to ensure you don’t miss that early sighting.
Know Your Birds
Now I’m not saying you need to know every bird on or around your property. For the novice birder, this can be overwhelming. But if you want to bring in more of these flighty creatures, you’re going to need to know which ones are local to your area and how to attract them.
Invest in a bird book that covers your area. A good one will have photos of each species as well as their habitat, range, diet, and a good description of them.
Get to Work
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few species you’d like to see more of, go about attracting them. Read up on their preferred food and habitat, build or buy a birdhouse designed for that species, hang some birdfeeders filled with quality birdseed.
Once you’ve done all that, all you can do is wait. In the meantime, break out the binoculars and your bird book. Always keep them handy to spot the curious birds that are looking to rent a room in your backyard bird haven.