A safe heaven for birds in your yard

Spring and early summer are great times to work on your landscape. Here are some great tips to follow in your planning to help you create a safe bird haven in your backyard.

Use native plants: To keep bird populations and ecosystems healthy, at least 70% of the plants in your yard should be native. (Ref)

Do not mow in May: Many pollinators rely on early flowers such as dandelion to survive. Don’t mow your grass in May to help the local pollinators and birds.

Use less grass, more plants: Grass offers little value to nature and wildlife. Switch some of your grass areas to native ground covers or low fruiting bushes.

Leave the dead wood: Deadwood plays a crucial part in a healthy ecosystem. Keep fallen deadwood and collect dead branches in a pile in a corner of your yard. If it is safe to do so, leave dead trees standing or cut them down to a safe height.

Use dead leaves as mulch: A wide variety of animals live under the leaf litter, including many insects and other prey for birds. Use dead leaf mulch in areas that are less visible in your yard and watch birds fling leaves around as they look for food.

World Migratory Bird Day

Today is World Migratory Bird Day. Show your support for wild birds and help celebrate Le Nichoir’s 25th anniversary with a $25 contribution to Le Nichoir’s anniversary fund.

Since 1993 World Migratory Bird Day has highlighted the need for greater conservation efforts to protect wild birds and their habitats. It unites individuals and organizations around the globe dedicated to increasing awareness and promoting positive change in wild bird conservation. https://www.migratorybirdday.org/

Locally, Le Nichoir works on the front lines of this movement with its bird care services and education programs in ever increasing demand, A fledgling Blue Jay with a broken wing and a Common Loon that swallowed a fish hook, are just two examples of the 36,000 injured and orphaned birds that we have cared for since opening our doors in 1996. www.lenichoir.org

All money raised will help buy much-needed supplies such as: bird food (mealworms), medications, and will support youth employment this summer. Please join us by clicking on the donate button below.

Save the Date

The Choices We Make

One of the important lessons the pandemic has taught us is that in a situation that is larger than yourself, you can contribute to positive change by focusing on those factors you have control over and the decisions that are within your power to make.

Simple every day choices go a long way. Did you know that window collisions are one of the most common human-made causes of bird mortality? Applying window alert decals to the glass panes in your home can help to reduce these unnecessary deaths. It’s a simple but effective action you can take. La Plume Verte offers a variety of products and solutions to help you reduce your personal impact on wild birds.


Virtual Seminars for Adults and Children

You can also get more involved and learn about wild bird conservation by attending one (or all!) of our virtual seminars. Our wildlife biologists are passionate about what they do and happy to help you learn.

Making a Yard Bird-Friendly: Discover what you can do to encourage birds to your backyard from the comfort of your home! Register for the French seminar on April 22, 2021 or for the English seminar April 29, 2021. Both start at 7:00 p.m.

We also offer virtual education programs for school children:

Bird Adaptations: Learn about why birds’ beaks, feet and wings are different depending on their food and habitat.

Avian Detectives: Use your imagination to become an avian detective! Answer questions to solve real cases sampled from Le Nichoir’s patients.


For more information: education@lenichoir.org

Enjoy, and have a happy and healthy spring!


Le Nichoir’s “Fab Four”

Janette Fauque, Denise Paquette, Lise Sylvestre et Lynn Miller

Janette Fauque, Denise Paquette, Lise Sylvestre and Lynn Miller

We call them Le Nichoir’s “Fab Four”: Lynn Miller, Denise Paquette, Lise Sylvestre and Janette Fauque. These four bird-loving volunteer conservationists started providing care for injured birds in the late 80s and then went on to found Le Nichoir 25 years ago. In those earliest of days, Lynn was a student, and the other three had full-time jobs. Despite their commitments, they contributed to the bird rescue operations in every way they could, with Lynn as the acknowledged leader. Denise and Lise mostly took care of the birds, while Janette kept a close watch on the bank account, sounding a shrill alarm whenever funds ran low.

In the space of a few years, the Fab Four’s passion for birds grew, peaking the season they hosted 400 birds in Lynn’s house, using every available space. It was only when she postponed appendicitis surgery to first relocate the 40 birds “in residence” that Lynn decided to set up shop in Marnie Clarke’s barn at the entrance to Hudson’s Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve. From there, operations continued to flourish and grow.

Fast forward to 2021: Lynn is now Dr. Lynn Miller, having obtained a PhD in Environmental Toxicology. She is back in her native New Zealand, working as the General Manager of New Zealand Bird Rescue. Since starting her career, wildlife rehabilitation has evolved into a recognized profession and an essential component of environmental stewardship. Lynn is a widely respected leader in the field.

Janette, while no longer active in day-to-day operations remains a loyal supporter, helping the Le Nichoir team in so many ways. Lise took a new position in the Eastern Townships and moved there; and Denise pursued her passion for painting, confident, as all four were, that Le Nichoir was in the capable hands of a great new team.

We spoke to Lynn recently, and looking back on the change in leadership, she said, “We all knew, for the health of the organisation, it needed to have new blood and ideas, and we were all so happy that we could move on to other things and celebrate the incredible successes of Le Nichoir over the years since. We are all still there in spirit, cheering Le Nichoir on with love and pride.”