Project CHIRP! – Making a home for Migrating Songbirds at YOUR home

Just discovered Project Chirp! when I went to the Civic Garden Centre the other day. The Garden Centre store was closed, alas – I had been hoping for some inspiring garden browsing on a cold January day – but the library was open, as well as the brochure stand, which was full of info. I picked up a Canada Blooms info sheet: It’s coming up March 18-22. Tickets at and at Sobey’s stores. Adults:$18 Senior/Student:$16

I also picked up a brochure about Project Chirp, an organization founded by Christina Sharma,
a volunteer educator with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Project Chirp is

a songbird conservation initiative in which the survival needs of songbirds are met through the creation of Canadian Wildlife Federation-certified songbird habitats on residential properties.
With 80% of the land in the Greater Toronto Area being privately owned, the potential exists to enrich these properties for the benefit of individuals and songbirds alike.

I’ve been trying to lure birds to my second story bird feeders this winter with, so far, mixed success. I’ve got squirrels out the yin-yang, but bird sitings are, as yet, sporadic. I’ve seen at least one bluejay, one woodpecker, one cardinal and several purple finches. However, they may be coming around when I’m not looking, as the feed is going down a bit.

There have been some interesting gymnastics with the squirrels trying to get into my spiral bird feeder, mostly they involve hanging upside down, with little arms flailing around. I have to admit, a squirrel hanging upside down is almost cute.

To make my deck a bit more interesting for the birds, I nabbed a “pre-owned” Christmas tree from the front of someone’s house a few weeks ago. Yes, I did feel a bit stupid stuffing it into the back of my car, then hauling it out and up the stairs and through my apartment, but it’s made a big difference in the landscape out my kitchen door. It actually looks Christmassy – especially today with the snow on it – and definitely more bird-habitat-y. So it was heartening to see that there is a program already to encourage people to bird-up their back and front yards. Everyone could be doing a little bit to make the disappearing habitats of songbirds come back a little bit in the city.

Project Chirp’s Christina Sharma writes:

Did you know that Toronto lies on a major migratory route for songbirds? Every night, during spring and fall migration, billions of songbirds fly in the dead of night right through the city of Toronto! Come dawn, they are exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. They need a safe place to land.

Check out Project Chirp here.

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