Posts Tagged ‘backyard birds’

The Birds of Meadowbrook

A Bird-Friendly Winter Backyard in Montreal

Watching birds on winter days from the warmth of your own home can offer hours of entertainment, as well as help you feel connected to nature.  It’s pretty simple to bring birds to your yard: offer the basic needs of food and shelter and they will come! Planting cedars and evergreens provides winter shelter, and offering different types of feed and feeding stations attracts a variety of birds.

Birds we can expect to see during the winter in Montreal include house sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, hairy and downy woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, mourning doves and pigeons, robins, juncos and finches including common redpolls, pine siskins and house finches.

Black-capped chickadee. photo credit: USTWS/John Carr, Wikimedia Commons.

Foods and Feeders

  • Black oil sunflower seeds in a platform feeder will attract most birds
  • Shelled peanuts in a black metal tube feeder will bring blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees
  • Suet cakes hung in a cage-type holder are enjoyed by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees
  • Niger seed in a special tube feeder with small holes attracts finches. And this is one seed that squirrels don’t like!
  • Mixed seed (sunflower, corn, millet) in a platform feeder attracts cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, as well as ground feeders like mourning doves and juncos who will eat the millet seeds that fall to the ground while other birds pick out the larger seeds on the feeding tray.


– Keep feeders close to the house (eg. hang from the deck) to be easy for you to fill    each day and to see from your kitchen windows.

– Follow weather forecasts and fill feeders before a snowstorm or extreme cold spell so birds can find food easily in harsh weather and to save you having to go out to fill feeders in bad weather. After a storm, you may be rewarded by a greater variety or unusual birds at your feeders.

– Keep feeders filled in spring to help birds who are feeding their young

– Buy basic (7×35) binoculars to enhance pleasure of watching birds from your window.

– Download the bilingual List of the Birds of Montreal from to keep a record of the birds you see.



– Don’t fill feeders to top (ration to help economize and to control squirrels)

– Don’t feed ANY bread to birds – it provides no nutrition but fills them up but so they don’t feed on nutritious high energy foods.

– Don’t let feeders go empty.

Don’t use plastic or wood birdfeeders – squirrels will chew and destroy them


Two key books to help you identify birds in your backyard:

Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Sibley

 Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America

Bird Protection Quebec (BPQ)

Check the website for weekly guided field trips open to everyone year-round (except Dec). Monthly meetings in NDG allow members to share their sightings of birds and guest speakers offer knowledge and inspiration.

Nature Expert, 5120 rue de Bellechasse, Montreal

A one-stop shop for everything:  binoculars, birdfeed, feeders, books, bird baths.  Explore the website

Mondou Pet Food Stores

To find their numerous locations in Montreal, see

They sell birdfeed and a range of birdfeeders.

Thank you to Sheldon Harvey of BPQ for help and tips.