Last week, we profiled the Canada Warbler, and this week, we outline four things anyone can do to help this threatened species.
1) Bird proof your windows
Canada Warblers are highly vulnerable to window collisions as they are at 17.9 times greater risk of collisions than the average species across all building types, 46.7 times greater risk of collisions with low-rise buildings, and 25.8 times greater risk of collisions with high-rise buildings. Approximately 25 million birds are killed from windows collisions in Canada annually.
Ninety percent of all bird-window collisions occur with single dwelling homes. Make your windows at home visible to birds to reduce the risk of window strikes by moving bird feeders and birdbaths a safe distance from your window (less than a meter or greater than five meters) and decorate your windows with visual markers.
2) Buy shade grown, bird friendly coffee
On its wintering grounds in South America, the Canada Warbler is found mainly between 1000 and 2000 meters in mature forest. Much of this forest in the Andes has been cut down, often to grow crops including coffee. Most coffee plantations are monocultures of coffee with no canopy of trees, no shade, and no birds. Some producers grow shade coffee or manage their farms in ways that benefit birds. Organically-grown shade coffee plantations in Colombia, for example, support many species of birds including Canada Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler. In the future, buy bird friendly certified coffee! A pre-requisite for the bird friendly certification is the organic certification. Make the switch from sun grown coffee to shade grown, bird friendly, organic coffee. By supporting shade grown coffee plantations you are contributing to bird conservation!
3) Buy SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper
Buying SFI or FSC certified paper products help Canada Warblers because (like shade grown coffee) it directly protects the species habitat in the management of forests and the harvesting of forest products. SFI and FSC promote responsible forest management and improve the practice of forestry. SFI and FSC set standards to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and forests with high conservation value. Next time you purchase paper, wood, or other types of wood products check for the SFI or FSC label.
4) Keep your cat indoors or supervise your cat outdoors
Cat predation is a serious threat to bird populations in Canada, killing between 100 and 350 million birds annually in Canada. Domestic cats are thought to be the largest direct human-related source of bird mortality. The Canada Warbler is vulnerable to cat predation as they forage and nest on or near the ground. They are most susceptible to cat predation when they are migrating; stopping in populated areas and parks. Keep your cat indoors or supervise your cat outdoors by walking them with a harness or allowing them to play in an outdoor enclosure (also known as catios!).
Learn more about Nature Canada’s Canada Warbler Initiative.