Anna’s hummingbird Pic taken this past week in back yard, near Rutledge Park, Saanich. Canon EOS T6i, 55-250mm telephoto/ Michael J. Trottier

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

Swallows, hummingbirds, sparrows and warblers – as spring is in bloom, many songbirds from further south will flock the West Shore.

Naturalists in the area can attract birds to their backyards and keep them safe at this crucial period in their life, the vice president of Rocky Point Bird Observatory said.

“What you plant, having water structures” and keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers can attract more backyard birds, Ann Nightingale said.

ALSO READ: Plants tell the story of Vancouver Island to one conservationist

For instance, planting the native red flowering currants in the West Shore and along the Oak Bay waterfront encourages the presence of rufous hummingbirds, one of the most abundant bird species migrating to the region during this time of year, she said.

“Native plants, especially, are good for native birds.”

Brightly colored flowers, such as fuschia, attract birds, as do Mountain Ash trees and “anything that bears fruit and seeds,” Nightingale said.

ALSO READ: View Royal Garden Club’s first show shines despite challenges of nature

Oftentimes, she added, backyard birds return home from their long journeys to their preferred roost.

Nightingale noted one hummingbird that was tagged had been found returning from Mexico to the same backyard eight years later. “Ones that are in your backyard, come back to your backyard.”

This time of year is “sensitive” for migrating birdlife, she said. That’s why, she added, keeping roaming cats under control is crucial.

“If a cat catches a bird right now, it’s probably dooming a nest.”

ALSO READ: ‘Raving mad crabs’ spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon

Nightingale will be sharing tips on identifying and attracting the region’s backyard birds and sharing pictures of rare and common ones at a talk during View Royal Garden Club’s general meeting Wednesday, May 22. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Esquimalt United Church, on 500 Admirals Rd.



swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford Legion hesitantly re-opens with new hours

President says doors open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.

Playgrounds reopen in Sooke

The move comes two months after facilities were shut down during the height of COVID-19 pandemic

Sooke food security initiative grows local interest

Around 30 grow-at-home kits handed out to Sooke residents

Sooke Food Bank takes steps towards ‘new norm’

Need for Sooke Food Bank nearly doubles since beginning of pandemic

Accessibility for disabled still an issue in Sooke

Room for improvement, says councillor

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read