As we launch into 2016, staff, volunteers and friends of Le Nichoir share a look back on 2015.
Both staff and volunteers care the birds admitted to Le Nichoir. Volunteers are very important to the Centre’s ability to offer bird care services 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
In 2015, 138 volunteers gave over 4,600 hours of their time to help ensure compassionate and professional care for 1649 birds representing 100 species – an increase of 9.3% over the previous year.
The 3 most common species of birds admitted to Le Nichoir in 2015 were species native to Quebec including the American Robin (13.8%), Mallard (12.4%) and Ring-billed Gull (8.5%).
Cat attacks (8.2%) ranked as the number 1 confirmed injury while window collisions (3.8%) and car collisions (2.6%) came in second and third respectively.
Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters who gave so generously in 2015. We could not have cared for all the birds brought to our door, delivered so many education programs or begun construction of the new building without you.
The architects at Studio MMA have created a build-it yourself Nichoir. Print it out and build your own model of the new Centre as designed by Studio MMA and as being built by eSpace Construction.
We look forward to welcoming you to the real thing next summer!
Once a year during our Annual Campaign we invite the community to show its support for the work we do at Le Nichoir. Your gift to Le Nichoir during our Annual Campaign enables our team of wildlife biologists, students and volunteers to deliver on our mission of conserving wild birds.
Le Nichoir fulfills this mission by offering two programs: professional and compassionate care of injured and orphaned wild birds, and the development and delivery of environmental education to the public.
Did you know?
Le Nichoir has grown to be Canada’s largest songbird rehabilitation centre.
So far this year, over 1560 birds representing 84 species have been admitted for care.
Staff and volunteers respond to over 6000 emails and phone calls each year.
Last year volunteers donated over 4500 hours to help care for the birds.
In 2014 birds came to Le Nichoir from 144 different cities and towns in Quebec.
Almost every admission is due to an unfortunate human impact.
We took in 11 young Cliff Swallows when their nests were removed from a Montreal bridge. After several weeks of feedings every 45 minutes, they were banded and released.
A Canada Goose was admitted with a fish hook embedded in her neck. The hook was removed, the wound cleaned and after a short recovery period in our large aviary she was released.
Five nestling Bank Swallows, a declining species in Quebec, were rescued after excavation equipment destroyed their nest, a tunnel in the sand. The young birds were fed a specialized diet every 30 minutes for several weeks before learning to fly in a flight cage. They were successfully released in a protected area.
At Le Nichoir birds are looked after as individuals, yet we strongly believe that education is the real key to conserving wild bird populations and their habitats. At the Centre we see the impact of human activity on wild birds on a daily basis, and we are using this powerful perspective to develop our formal education program. Over 600 children participated in our programs so far this year. The financial support received during our Annual Campaign is what permits us to continue to develop and offer these programs.
On behalf of all of us at Le Nichoir, thank-you for your participation in our Annual Campaign, and for your confidence in our efforts to care for the birds that share our planet.
Susan Wylie, Sc. Wildlife Biology
Why Le Nichoir and coffee?
We developed Le Nichoir’s Bird Friendly coffee to promote the preservation of habitat for the migratory birds that travel from our backyards each winter to the faraway farms?that produce our coffee.
Drinking Bird Friendly coffee is a simple choice we can make to protect migratory bird habitat.
Why buy our coffee?
- Certified Bird Friendly coffee is the strictest environmental standard when it comes to protecting bird habitat.
- Encourage farmers to preserve agroforests by increasing demand for certified coffees
- It’s locally roasted within 20 km of Le Nichoir to ensure it is always really fresh
- Profits support Le Nichoir’s bird care and education programs
- And of course, it is delicious!
Where to buy
Moulting is the process of shedding something old to give way for something new. In birds, moulting involves replacing some or all their feathers at least once a year, usually in the fall. For many birds, this means having fresh feathers for the long migration ahead, the most dangerous time of the year for most birds. Blackpoll Warblers, for example, need perfect plumage to undertake their incredible migration and complete a non-stop 88-hour 3,000 km flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
Some species such as the Cardinal or the Chickadee merely use the annual moult to refresh their plumage; the feather colours remain the same all year-round. Others, however, use the moult as an opportunity for change. Vibrant breeding colours are swapped for camouflage, either adapted to the winter conditions for those that stay, or for the long journey and winter habitats of migratory species. And that means going through a second moult in the spring, to regain the breeding colours.
American Goldfinches are an example. The bright yellow male of summer is still at your feeders all winter; he’s just not yellow anymore but has assumed colours more like the female’s greyish green. Most warblers will do the same; the bright blues, oranges, yellows, stripes and patterns of the summer are exchanged for drab greens, olives and yellows that make most species appear very similar to one another.
Many birds will have this pattern of being colourful in the summer and camouflaged in the winter. However, there are some exceptions. Ducks are a perfect example. Unlike most other birds which usually meet on the breeding grounds or are already mated, ducks usually bond in the winter and migrate back as a pair to the breeding grounds. It thus makes sense to have your best attire in the winter when it is time to impress the ladies. Have you ever noticed that there are no male duck to be seen in July and August? This is because Ducks moult their flight feathers in the summer and during this time they will have a hard time flying. Bright colours and flightlessness are not a good combination when there are predators around, so males ducks take on the drab appearance of the females during this dangerous time.