Inviting Birds of Varied Feathers Back to Urban Areas
A lot of people connect with nature through birds. Recently, with a colleague, I conducted a bird inventory at The Living Centre, a fairly small 50-acre rural property just outside of the hamlet of Lambeth in southern Ontario. The site has a diverse 25-acre forest, that includes a 3-acre swamp, and steep, vegetated canal, a ten-acre grassy old field and about 20 acres that are cultivated in herb and vegetable gardens in addition to a peace garden and other unique landscape features. Within a couple of hours, we had recorded nearly 50 species of breeding birds. For comparison, in Wortley Village, a quaint little nook of London, Ontario, we have about 15 varieties of birds that nest in the community. Why do we have fewer types of birds in the city than in the country? It’s pretty simple; rural areas have more food, more cover, and fewer dangers. Naturally, the question that follows is, “Is it possible to get more types of birds in the city?” The answer? Yes, but - and a big but here - we need to work and play at changing the urban landscape.