Gardening for Birds: Planting for American Robins
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for American Robins

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton The American robin, with its brick-red breast, yellow beak, and grey wings, is a much-loved harbinger of spring and always a welcome visitor after our long, cold winters. Most sightings start just when the ice and snow are melting. These birds are well suited to city living and…

Light Pollution and the Importance of Darkness For Wildlife
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Light Pollution and the Importance of Darkness For Wildlife

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton As days become shorter, winter solstice approaches. Long shadows fall over the garden while many migratory birds begin their long, often dangerous, journey south. For gardeners who care about wildlife, autumn is a good time to pause and reflect on the effects of artificial light—especially hazardous for migrating…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Woodpeckers
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Woodpeckers

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton. Three species of woodpeckers visit my well-wooded, older suburb. Usually, they are most noticeable during mating season with their loud drumming sounds to attract a mate. The smallest is the downy woodpecker, about 16.5 cm long, which often forages in the old apple tree. The hairy woodpecker, about…

Pollinator Tips for Summer Gardens
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Pollinator Tips for Summer Gardens

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton Hot, lazy July days bring busy pollinators to visit our orchards, flower, and vegetable gardens. These small garden visitors are critical to human survival. They help to put food on our tables by pollinating many plants that provide us with edible fruit. Pollinators, which include many beneficial insects,…

An Overview of Garden Plant Suggestions for Birds
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An Overview of Garden Plant Suggestions for Birds

Julianne Labreche, Master Gardener, Ottawa-Carleton N= Native Plant Bird Friendly Shrubs and Small Trees Evergreen Trees for Birds Deciduous Trees for Birds Perennials for Birds Bird-Friendly Annual Flowers Bird-Friendly Vines Grasses for Birds These are alternatives to Miscanthus, considered an invasive plant species. www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/grow-instead Groundcovers for Birds Useful Birding Apps Merlin Bird ID Website: merlin.allaboutbirds.org…

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…

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