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Get to Know Your Birds

Birds are fascinating and inspiring. They enhance our communities and our lives.

Birds can be found everywhere… from shorelines, forests, mountains, and marshes to our most urban landscapes.

Learning to identify birds is one of the best ways to connect with the natural world, and is the first step toward taking conservation action.

Where do I start?

Support Bird Conservation

Join or support a bird conservation organization

  • Become a member, donor, or volunteer for Bird Studies Canada, Canada’s leading national charity for bird science and conservation

Volunteer for programs that are making a real difference for birds

  • Become a Citizen Scientist and help monitor and protect birds through one of Bird Studies Canada’s many volunteer programs!
  • Become a Bird Rescue Volunteer for FLAP Canada

Be a Bird-Friendly Consumer

Reducing overall consumption, and making ‘greener’ choices generally, reduces your environmental footprint and benefits all wildlife over time

Think twice about the foods you buy

  • Avoid food waste
  • Buy food that is grown as locally as possible
  • Avoid pesticides and give preference to organic food
  • Look for certifications on coffee and other food products – there are many options!

Be a careful consumer of wood and paper

  • Wherever possible, using less will lower the impacts of your consumption
  • When buying paper products, choose recycled and unbleached options to help reduce your environmental footprint
  • Look for certifications that recognize sustainable practices

Make Your Yard Bird-Friendly

Plant native vegetation that provides cover and food for birds

  • Planting sunflowers and thistles and letting them go to seed provides food for birds in the summer
  • Tubular, nectar-producing flowers and flowering trees and shrubs attract hummingbirds
  • Fruiting trees such as mountain ash and serviceberry attract fruit-eating birds such as bluebirds, robins, and waxwings
  • Many sparrow species enjoy native prairie grasses

Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides on your property

Bird feeders should be cleaned with hot soapy water and a vinegar solution about once every two weeks. Rinse and dry thoroughly before refilling, to protect bird health

Keep Cats Indoors

According to an Environment Canada study published in 2013, cats kill more than 100 million birds each year in Canada, making them the most significant human-related bird mortality factor in the country

Studies have shown that bells on collars are not effective in preventing cats from killing birds or other wildlife

Keeping cats inside is best for native wildlife, and for the health of your pets

Prevent Bird-Window Collisions

Birds colliding with windows is one of the leading causes of bird mortality. Collisions with windows in residential and commercial buildings kill more than 25 million birds in Canada each year. The majority of these collisions occur at houses. There are many ways we can all help to reduce the number of bird deaths, from enacting bird-friendly building standards to taking action at our homes.

Here are a few places to start.

  • Place bird feeders and bird baths at a safe distance from windows. The general rule is within 0.9 m (3 ft) of a window (so a bird leaving the feeder can’t gain enough momentum to do harm if it strikes the window).
  • Make any windows adjacent to or reflecting a bird feeder and/ or the surrounding vegetation bird-friendly. Options include adding window screens, and applying specialized markers or tape spaced in a 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 in) grid pattern.

For more information about these and other options for reducing bird-window collisions, please visit and Feather Friendly. Note that if you choose to purchase a Feather Friendly DIY product and use Coupon Code BSC2019, Feather Friendly will make a donation to Bird Studies Canada to support bird conservation.

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Birds Canada P.O. Box 160, 115 Front St., Port Rowan, ON Canada N0E 1M0
Phone:1-888-448-2473 Fax: 1-519-586-3532 E-mail: