Protect Birds – Protect Nature Challenge
Birds connect people with nature.
They add beauty, sound and colour to our world. They provide countless opportunities for enjoyment to birders and outdoor enthusiasts and have cultural and spiritual importance for many people.
They contribute many environmental benefits, including pollination, insect and rodent control, and seed dispersal. Birds are also good indicators of environmental health because they are highly visible and relatively easy to study. Observing birds can give us a picture of what is going on in the world.
Here are eight ways you can take birds under your wing:
- Make your windows bird safe – Windows can mislead birds. They see trees and sky reflected and try to fly through. Thousands of birds die this way each year. Make sure that all your windows are visible to birds. Put up visual markers that warn them away from the glass.
- Avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilizers – They can be harmful to birds, you, your family and your pets. Avoid using them whenever you can.
- Help reduce climate change – Climate change highly impacts migration patterns and food availability for birds. Do your part by going green: walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation. Be energy efficient by using compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Wash your clothes in cold or lukewarm water. Install programmable thermostats. Look for the Energy Star® label when buying new appliances. Cut back on waste.
- Participate in citizen science programs – Make your bird observations count for science. Report the birds you spot and volunteer for citizen science programs. There is something for everyone, from beginner and family programs to activities designed for advanced birders.
- Make your yard a haven for birds – Yards and neighbourhood spaces (including around schools, community buildings, businesses and abandoned property) can provide much-needed bird and wildlife habitat supplying water, food and shelter. Launching naturalizing projects at home or in the community can be a fun way to spend time outdoors connecting with nature, family, friends and neighbours.
- Keep an eye on your pets outdoors – An average of 270 million birds die each year because of human activities. About 75 percent of them are killed by domestic and feral cats. Take action by not letting your cat run free outside.
- Use products from sustainable farming, fishing and forestry – Help protect bird habitat. Check products for certified sustainable labeling such as Ecocert Canada, Bird Friendly, Canada Organic, Marine Stewardship Council, Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Canadian Standards Association.
- Get involved or donate to a nature conservation group – Volunteer with a conservation group engaged in bird protection, habitat restoration or public education like Bird Studies Canada. Make a charitable donation to an organization or buy a Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp.
How to prevent Bird Collisions with Windows
- About 70,000 birds die each day by colliding with windows
- 90% of bird-window collisions occur at houses
- 25% of households have a bird feeder
- Birds are twice as likely to collide with windows at homes with bird feeders
- Place bird feeders within 50 cm of windows
- Add visual markers on windows
- Avoid decorative lighting or lighting pointing upwards
- Turn off lights after 11 pm
Find out more about migratory birds and how to protect them.
Let’s do this together
Share these challenges with your friends and family and show us what you are doing by tagging us in your social media messages and by using the hashtag #ProtectNature.
Check out our list of challenges to help protect nature.
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