The Urban Bird

Though today’s weather in Toronto would have you reconsidering, spring has officially begun.  And with its arrival, so too return the birds from their winter trip down south. Once in full bloom, one of my favourite moments to steal is under a tree full of singing birds.  There’s something about being immersed in that lively birdsong.  If I had to pinpoint moments that summed up the season, that’d be one for sure, along with seeing those first green signs poking through the dirt.

Photo by Lisa Lawler

Judging by the number of birdwatchers –amateur and otherwise, with their clubs and special gear- birds are creatures that captivate: from the powerful bonds they form with their partners (the most monogamous species on earth) to the elaborate architecture of the homes they construct… and of course there’s that little gift of flight.  So it’s no wonder so many people include birdhouses and feeders in their gardens and on their balconies.  It’s a lovely way to enjoy nature in the urban environment.

If you’re looking to include a birdhouse in your garden or balcony there are many modern birdhouse designs that will beautify your space too:

Modern Birdhouse by Donald Corey via dhub

Via Modern Design Blog, this birdhouse is based on real Vorarlbergian architecture, built of the same wood to the scale of 1:33

Via Design-Milk, J Schatz' Egg Birdhouse

Via Modern Design Blog, the PIP PIP Birdhouse by Swedish company SMD Design can be planted in the ground or used with a base on balconies

Or you can try your hand at making your own.  There are plenty of free birdhouse plans available online.  If you’re building your own, you’ll want to do some local research, finding out what birds you’ll be attracting and what they eat.  Here’s a handy video for all you DIY-ers:

And for parents looking for a project to do with your kids, here is a super simple birdfeeder:

The Bagel Birdfeeder

You’ll need half a stale bagel, a teaspoon of peanut butter, birdseed, string and scissors.

1. Cut a length of string, roughly two feet and tie to the bagel through the hole

2. Coat both sides of the bagel in a thin layer of peanut butter

3. Pour birdseed onto a plate and roll bagel in birdseed to coat both sides

4. Attach outdoors and watch the happy birds gather!

Chirp, chirp!

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