I love birds. So I'm often tempted to buy stuff with birds on it — earrings, home décor, dresses, etc.
An episode of Portlandia called "Put a bird on it" perfectly mocks the irony of nature lovers buying bird-decorated things that can actually hurt, not help, birds. (Exception: the prize I'm giving away for this blog from SpeeZees Tees!)
I can think of at least two ways to really help and appreciate birds:
Make your home/workplace safe for birds
More birds die each year from crashing into buildings and windows than are killed by cats, wind turbines and airplanes combined!
Try FLAP's simple tips to make your home and workplace safer. Reduce bird window strikes — relocate a houseplant, move the bird feeder or close the blinds. And find out how to report a bird collision.
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Learn how to identify birds
Make this the year you learn to tell a pigeon or robin from a sharp-shinned hawk!
- Size: is it smaller than a sparrow or bigger than a robin?
- Markings: observe patterns (like streaks) or bold colours.
- Behaviour: how was it feeding, flocking or flying i.e., did it flap, soar or have undulating flight like a woodpecker?
- Habitat: a hawk over a wetland is probably a harrier AKA marsh hawk!
- Call or song: did you know you can identify birds by song? (Okay, I can — used to do it for a living — but you can learn, too!)
What have you done to help your feathered neighbours?
Comment on this blog to win a toddler-sized, 100 per cent organic cotton, sweatshop-free SpeeZees tee with a northern spotted owl on it! SpeeZees donates a dollar from the purchase of each owl T-shirt to the Wilderness Committee. (Draw date: June 9th.)
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green