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Canadian Birds in my Garden
Welcome to Canadian Birds in my Garden where you can see Cardinals, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds and other visitors to my garden including raccoons, chipmunks, and even a mink!
I have been fascinated by garden birds since a very early age. It all started when we discovered an escaped pet budgerigar in our garden in England. We managed to capture it and put it in a cage.
Within weeks I had convinced my dad to build an aviary in the garden. Before long, we had an L-shaped aviary with nesting boxes, and were breeding Budgerigars, Canaries, and Zebra and Bengalese Finches.
Now that I live in Canada, this article continues my passion for birds by looking at Canadian Birds in my Garden.
American Goldfinches are frequent visitors to my garden and they love to eat sunflower seeds directly from the giant sunflowers growing in my garden. They also love to eat niger seed from special niger seed feeders.
The Common Grackle is the local bully of the bird table, usually scaring off smaller garden birds.
My garden backs on to a wooded ravine and I am fortunate enough to get frequent visitors from the local woodpecker population.
They are attracted by two types of feeders:
- Peanut bird feeder
- Suet bird feeder
The two most common species that we see are the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers. Both are similar in appearance although the Hairy is slightly larger at 7 1/2" vs 5 3/4" for the Downy.
Another frequent visitor is the Common Flicker which is usually seen on the ground looking for small insects. The most distinguishing feature of the Flicker is the black crescent shape on its breast.
A rare treat, which I have only seen once in my garden, but several times in the wild, is the Pileated Woodpecker, a much larger bird at 15" with a distinctive red crest.
One of my favorite visitors to my garden is the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. I'm not exactly sure why, but they only seem to visit in the early spring, and usually for no more than one week.
As you can see, the plumage of the male is very distinctive and unique.
Another of my favorite Canadian birds in my garden is the ruby-throated hummingbird. As anyone who has ever seen a hummingbird will attest, these are the most amazing birds. They seemingly defy gravity as they flit around the garden, visiting the nectar feeders and nectar-rich flowers.
It's easy to attract hummingbirds to your garden. To find out how, and to see more photos of the ruby-throated hummingbird, visit How to Create a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Habitat.
For your interest, all of the photographs shown in this article were taken on a Fujifilm Finepix HS10 digital camera with 30 x optical zoom.
I highly recommend this camera, or it's successor the HS20. Both cameras are extremely versatile and allow you to zoom in very close, which is essential when photographing wild birds.
If you would like to take bird photos like these, take a look at these cameras - you won't be disappointed!
Mourning Doves are probably one of the most common garden birds in Caanda. They are present all year round and frequently sit in or around the feeding tray, or on the ground, for long periods of time.
Mourning Doves make a whistling noise with their wings as they take flight, but the bird's name comes from the male's mournful cry which can sound like an owl.
Blue Jays are perhaps the best known Canadian bird, perhaps because they lend their name to the local professional baseball team.
The Toronto Blue Jays were winners of two back-to-back World Series in 1992 & 1993 - those were the days!
I have seen up to eight Blue Jays on the feeder at any one time - a sight to behold!
My all-time favorite Canadian birds in my garden are the Northern Cardinals.
Almost always seen in pairs, the distinctive red plumage of the male cardinal add a splash of color to any landscape. Both the male and female have a pointed crest and thick red conical beaks (dusky in immature birds).
Despite being frequently seen on Canadian Xmas cards, Cardinals are present all year-round and
Other Canadian Birds
Other Canadian birds that are frequent visitors to my garden include:
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatch
- Brown Creeper
- Black-capped Chickadee
- House Sparrow
- Purple Finch
- Black-eyed Junco
- Brown-headed Cowbird
- American Robin
- European Starling
Other Visitors To My Garden
Naturally the presence of food in the feeding trays also attracts attention from other wildlife.
Visitors include the adorable chipmunks, the pesky squirrels and the persistent raccoons.
As you can see, the bird feeder is fitted with a squirrel baffle in an attempt to stop animals from climbing on to the feeding trays. It works pretty well but, even with these measures, they still find a way to get to the food.
The chipmunks are crafty and are actually able to climb the feeder pole and squeeze through the hole in the middle of the baffle.
One squirrel, who I suspect is training for the Olympic high jump, can actually jump high enough to grab the tray with his front feet and pull himself up onto the feeder - it's amazing to watch!
The raccoons, the masked bandits of Canadian gardens, seem to go for brute strength, and will tip the whole feeder over whenever they get the chance.
Despite all of these visitors, I am an equal opportunity host, and I am happy to feed any Canadian animals in my garden that are willing to entertain me!
Can You Identify This Bird?
I love watching Canadian birds in my garden, and nothing beats the thrill of seeing an unusual or rare visitor.
As you can see above, we get the occasional bird of prey passing through, scaring off all of the local birds.
I've checked my bird books and I think that this bird is a Merlin but I'm not 100% sure. If you know what it is, please let me know and I'll update the caption!
The swimming pool also attracts waterfowl occasionally, such as these mallards, and even a Great Blue Heron!
Bird Watching Is Fun and Rewarding
I hope that you've found this article on Canadian Birds in my Garden interesting.
Nothing would please me more than to know that it has inspired you to attract birds to your garden. It's really easy, you just need a feeder, a water supply (fountain or bird bath) and some shrubs.
And, if you want to make your own feeder, check out How to Build a Bird Feeder Pole from an old patio umbrella.
For ther articles about birds, you might also be interested in Canadian Birds and Bird Quotes and Bird Sayings. Inspired by these photos of garden birds, I've also taken a stab at writing some poetry at Original Bird Poems and Bird Pictures.
Happy wildlife watching!