Tips for feeding hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are unique little birds, and a common sight in most areas, even in urban and suburban areas. Chances are that if you keep a properly maintained feeder, you will be able to observe them.

Here are some tips on how to properly feed hummingbirds:

  • Change the sugar solution at least twice a week (more often during heat waves). A spoiled solution can cause hummingbirds to abandon the feeder or cause illness or death.
  • Clean the feeder thoroughly, including inside the feeding ports, with hot water every time you change the sugar solution. If you see black mold spots, soak the feeder in bleach, being sure to rinse thoroughly.
  • Prepare a sugar solution using 4 parts water to 1 part refined white sugarDo not use any other type of sugar: natural sugar, cane sugar, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or anything else, as these other sugars contain substances that are possibly toxic to the birds. Do not add coloring or use pre-made mixes.
  • The sugar solution can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you want more than one feeder, place them out of sight of each other. Hummingbirds are very territorial and will chase away any hummingbird they see.

Golf Tournament

If you are a golfer or you just want to have some fun, don’t miss this event!

Our 2021 Golf tournament tees off Monday, September 27 at noon.

Food will be served on the course followed by a post-tournament cocktail.

The cost per player is $200, with a charitable receipt issued for $85.

Reserve your foursome now with Susan at


Warm weather promises more bird admissions

We’re expecting a very busy year! Le Nichoir’s bird care season typically begins in May. You can imagine our surprise when we realized that the Centre admitted birds on a regular basis throughout the whole of 2020. Since January 2021, our team has cared for 60% more birds than during the same period in previous years. If this is any sign of what’s to come, we expect to be kept on our toes this summer.

Luckily, Le Nichoir has added a new full-time member to the team. Emily Fancelli has joined us as our new Administrative Coordinator. Studying Administration at Concordia, she brings fresh ideas and new skill sets. We warmly welcome Emily to the Le Nichoir team and hope you will have the opportunity to meet her.

Due to the pandemic, Le Nichoir has been unable to accept visitors. We miss you! Weiyi Liu, our Bird care Coordinator, has organized a virtual behind-the-scenes tour for Saturday, June 5. This bilingual tour will last up to an hour and will cover the entire operations of Le Nichoir (indoors and out). Registration is required. You can register here.

To better keep in touch with our community, our volunteers and staff produce regular communications about Le Nichoir’s activities. We have created a survey to collect feedback on what information is most important to you and what content you would like to read in the future. Please take the time to let us know your thoughts by completing the survey here.

As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, please visit our website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) for more information on our upcoming Festival of Birds and Nature (August), our golf tournament (September 27th) and more!

Don’t forget to reserve your foursome

Please join us on September 27, 2021 to celebrate Le Nichoir’s 25-year commitment to wild birds at Le Birdie, a very special, fun-filled golf tournament. You and your friends will play the beautiful Whitlock Golf and Country Club course and enjoy delicious food while on the course prepared by members of Hudson à Table. Our Honourary Tournament Chair is Tom Whelan, co-host of the morning show on Hudson’s own radio station, Lite 106.7, so bring your sense of humour along with your clubs and join the party!

The Barnyard Years – Part 1

When Le Nichoir founder, Lynn Miller, and her team swung open the doors of Marnie Clarke’s barn for the first time, it must have been quite a shock. The year was 1996, and decades of abandonment had taken a heavy toll on the structure. The floor could not be seen, it was buried under rotting hay, in some places knee deep! The farm animals were long gone but the barn was inhabited by a host of furry creatures and even a few garter snakes.

Undaunted, the crew set to work on a major clean up aided by a local Boy Scout troop. They removed wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of hay for composting and lit bonfires to get rid of other debris. Work then began inside the barn, still with volunteer labour, carving out a workable space to receive and treat wild bird patients. New partitioning created an admissions area, a clinic and an indoor aviary that was secure enough to prevent the raccoons from eating the patients when the staff had gone home for the night. Over the following years, further improvements were made to the barn and outside aviaries were added to increase capacity and improve rehab services for the birds.

While the challenges in the barnyard were many, there were some natural advantages to the site. A good example was a large manure pile conveniently located right beside the back door. Renamed the worm pit, it provided an endless supply of food for hungry insectivores, and a creek flowing through the property was used to hold fish bait buckets full of live minnows to feed aquatic birds.

As word of the good works gradually spread, fundraising became easier. “For The Birds” — a dinner auction started in the late nineties and later renamed “A Taste of Hudson” — was an instant success and became Le Nichoir’s main fundraising event until it was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. But, as Lynn Miller tells it, the most memorable donation occurred in the fall of 1999 in the form of a $5,000 grant from a foundation. The staff celebrated by immediately applying the funds to a septic system servicing an enclosed bathroom with a flush toilet!