Feederwatch is a citizen science project that has been running for decades all over North America. In Canada it is managed by Birds Canada. We have been “Feederwatching” in our Baie-D’Urfé garden for almost 25 years and have accumulated some exciting records and observations.

Before going any further – check it out here: https://www.birdscanada.org/you-can-help/project-feederwatch

In essence, participants count birds visiting the vicinity of their gardens (with or without feeders) intermittently during two days each week. It can be half an hour, a morning, the whole day. Up to you. You report your observations via a simple website or smartphone app. That’s all. These data add to a massive database recording year by year what species of birds in what numbers are to be seen all over the continent. By playing poor small part in this variations in species numbers are being monitored and conservation efforts aided. It’s really important – and great fun. To quote from Birds Canada: “You don’t have to have a feeder. The plants, water and other features around our homes provide important habitats for birds year-round. To help birds, we need to understand how these habitats and the birds using them are changing over time. Your counts of winter yard birds tell us which species are doing well and which ones need our conservation attention. Everyone is welcome. You don’t need to be an expert birder. You also don’t need to make a huge time commitment – you decide how much time you spend. Even if you count birds only once during the season, that is a helpful snapshot of the birds in your location.”

What can you see? We regularly see all the common resident species of birds to be expected around here in winter and occasionally some real rarities. Chickadees, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Mourning Doves, assorted Woodpecker species, Juncoes, Robins are regulars but also winter finches will be coming down from the north to join us, we hope for Carolina Wrens and there will be Hawks and crows and maybe a Raven too.

This is day one and already we have seen:

A Pileated Woodpecker on the main feeder array

A gang of Mourning Doves at the garden waterfall

Why not become a Feederwatcher too?