On The Wild Side: Sights and sounds of birds help to welcome spring

A scarlet tanager, a Cape May warbler, a yellow rumped warbler and a rose-breasted grosbeak are among the birds you might see and hear this spring. Photos by Ann Brokelman.


Take a minute, maybe a few, and just go outside and listen to the sounds of the birds. I think we can all appreciate it, because we all notice it.

After a long winter, waking up one morning and realizing the birds are singing is rejuvenating. Don’t we tell our friends/family/co-workers about it? “Wow, the birds were so loud this morning!”

And of course it’s not just the sound, but it’s the visuals. Every colour of the rainbow is found on some of the most beautiful birds in the world. Of course there are peacocks, and toucans, and beautiful birds all over the world that we don’t see. But don’t forget: people who live with toucans are often awed at the beautiful colours of our blue jays, cardinals, and orioles.

The biggest problem for me this time of year is that my neck always hurts because I’m not used to looking up so much! But, if the birds are calling you to look up higher in the trees, you really should try. Watch for the reds, blues, oranges, yellows, blacks, whites and other amazing colours.

But try to keep your mouth shut when you’re looking. The bugs seem to be everywhere too! Keep your mouth closed or you will get extra protein you didn’t want. The gnats, in particular, are feeding the warblers, orioles, and swallows among others.

This is the time to just enjoy the arrival of the spring migration of birds everywhere.  Go to Ashbridges Bay and Tommy Thompson Park and look up trees, in the bushes, or on the water. Go for a walk through your neighbourhood or just sit in your backyard, listen, and look around.

At my house I have ruby throated hummingbirds buzzing at my nectar feeder. There was only one yesterday, but a second has shown up! Baltimore Orioles are chasing each other and sitting on the trees where I put out fresh oranges. Rose-breasted grosbeaks are eating the suet and nuts from my backyard feeders, and male cardinals are taking seeds from the front feeders and bringing them to their females… must be nice. Take five minutes outside and let me know what you see!

This Saturday, May 11, at Tommy Thompson Park  you can go to the  Spring Bird Festival to learn about the amazing phenomenon of migration and the importance of bird conservation.

There will be all types of activities for both young and older.  Please go to the website for details: https://www.tommythompsonpark.ca/springbirdfestival/


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