Gardening for Birds: Gardening for American Goldfinches
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Gardening for Birds: Gardening for American Goldfinches

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission One pleasure every summer is watching American goldfinches forage for seeds among the flowers and grasses of my front-yard pollinator garden. These beautiful little birds, only about 10 cm in length, are attracted to many of the same plants as butterflies. According to The Cornell…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission Twenty-three different kinds of hummingbirds have been identified in North America, but the rubythroated hummingbird is the only one that visits our Ottawa and Ontario regions. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are not only beautiful but truly remarkable. Weighing less than a nickel, these tiny birds migrate north…

Rose Pests: European Rose Sawfly and Rose Plume Moth
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Rose Pests: European Rose Sawfly and Rose Plume Moth

Author: Amanda Carrigan, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission I like roses but grow only two hardy kinds – cinnamon rose (Rosa majalis) and rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa). Neither is affected by disease, yet every year my roses get attacked by caterpillars. Two different types turn up in May and June and wreak havoc…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Blue Jays
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Blue Jays

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission The blue jay is notably recognizable by its shrieking, sharp calls and its beautiful blue, white, grey and black plumage. Considered to be an intelligent bird, it has a complex social system and tight family bonds. Where you can find Blue Jays These birds are…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for White-Breasted Nuthatches
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for White-Breasted Nuthatches

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission White-breasted nuthatches are sometimes called ‘upside down’ birds because of their unusual ability to perch and move upside down on trees. In any position, they can probe into bark furrows, cling to a tree, and move up and down to forage or hide food. It…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Black-capped Chickadees
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Black-capped Chickadees

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission Frequent visitors to my backyard garden are the curious little black-capped chickadees. They are easily recognizable with their black cap and bib, white cheeks, and warm buff-tone flanks and sides. Usually they visit my garden in small flocks for safety. Sometimes they arrive with other…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Sparrows
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Sparrows

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission Many different species of sparrows visit my backyard garden, no matter the season. Sparrow sightings in the Ottawa area include song sparrows, chipping sparrows, swamp sparrows, house sparrows, white-crowned sparrows, and white-throated sparrows, among others. Even the dark-eyed Junco is part of the North American…

10 Shrubs with Berries for Fall and Winter Bird Treats
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10 Shrubs with Berries for Fall and Winter Bird Treats

Berries are an irresistible treat for birds, particularly in winter when food is scarce. The fruits produced by these shrubs provide calories and crucial nutrients that birds need, particularly during the cold winter months when other natural food sources are nonexistent or buried in the snow.  Here are some of my favorites to consider for…

Plants that Attract Monarch Butterflies
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Plants that Attract Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies are superb pollinators, and if they are fed plants they enjoy, they will pollinate your entire garden. Butterflies require two kinds of plants to survive: host plants and food plants. Plant a monarch butterfly garden because their populations have been progressively dropping in recent decades, mostly due to habitat loss and pesticide usage….

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