Bird migration for autumn is underway. More than just appreciating their beauty - which we all should - we can help make the journey of some species easier. More and more, due to human-related activities or structures, birds face many dangers in their journey.
Here are five ways you can support birds during their migration south:
1. Place food in your garden
If you have an open area, consider placing some food to help small passerines get enough food and fat to continue their journey. You can either put it on a safe spot or, ideally, on a bird feeder that you can DIY yourself. In general, consider a mix of different seeds and shell-free nuts. But, you should also take into account the kind of species you have around.
2. Turn off lights
As most bird species migrate at night, bright lights can disturb the birds, disorienting them on their route. So, one way we can help is to turn off all unnecessary lights in your home and/or garden. And we can also raise awareness on this matter and encourage owners of bigger buildings or factories/stores to do the same.
3. Migration-friendly garden
Again, if you have a piece of land, you can make it migration-friendly, adding plants and trees that bloom late in the summer and producing fruits or seeds that can be essential meals for birds in migration.
Also, avoid pruning trees and shrubs in autumn to provide additional shelter for migrating birds. If you really need to prune, add the cuttings to a brush pile for accessible shelter. You can also collect leaf litter from your garden and place it on a bank or underneath some shrubs to enrich the ground and attract ground-feeding species, such as sparrows, thrushes and doves.
4. Migration-friendly window decorations
One of the many hazards for birds in migration is window collision, as birds cannot distinguish the glass from the transparent surface they see on the other side. So, very often, they fly straight into the glass, making the strike most of the time fatal. Making window decorations is, therefore, an excellent way to break down the reflections of the widows and “tell” birds that there is something they should avoid. This DIY is a fun activity with kids, at home or even at school. Here’s a good article for you to get inspired.
5. Go birding
Our final suggestion is to go outside as much as possible and record the birds you observe. Whether in your backyard, public garden nearby or in an attractive area for migrating birds, recording our observations and submitting them on platforms such as e-Bird is vital to collecting bird data and supporting migration studies.
We hope we enjoy this fall migration while supporting birds on their arduous journey.