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Atracting Birds Definitely Has Benefits

Maureen Sexsmith-West

ISA Certified Arborist, PR4600A

While sitting on my porch to escape the mid-day heat I observed this sparrow taking on what looks to be a tomato hornworm. I managed to get one zoom shot in before my dog came bounding around the corner and scared it off. An unusually large caterpillar found this time of year. My ID is based on the faint white stripes on the sides. Anyone else have a guess?

Keeping the bird feeder stocked last winter has paid off this season. We had nesting this year and the summer feeder and a bird bath keep them coming. Primarily sparrows, but I enjoy a daily dose of flickers, robins, finches, nut hatches, chickadees, starlings, crows, etc. This past couple of weeks, I have watched the antics of two blue jays. I have definitely noticed, or should I say, not noticed a lot of pests this season.

I have been watching birds for years. This year brought about a new behaviour for me – dust bathing. When it is time to hoe and weed the veggie patch, I find shallow basins where the birds have been cleaning their feathers.

Sadly, I also observed a hawk swoop into the Lilac and exit with lunch.

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