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important in urban settings where natural habitat is often sparse and less resilient than in rural areas. The City
The Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines provide strategies for building owners, managers and tenants, as well as home and business owners, to help make urban areas less dangerous for birds. This is primarily achieved through the reduction of light pollution and making windows visible to birds.
encourages bird education by: • Creating strategically-placed birdwatching lookouts. • Engaging the community. • Informing site users with interpretive signage, self-guided tours and downloadable information.
Birds of Toronto is a comprehensive publication about the birds that live and migrate through the city. Free copies are available at Toronto Public Library branches and civic centres.
• Researching bird populations and migration habits in order to enhance scientific knowledge and improve methods of protection.
BIRDS OF TORONTO A GUIDE TO THEIR REMARKABLE WORLD • City of Toronto Biodiversity Series •
D an fo rth
East Point Bird Sanctuary
About this publication
Birds fulfill numerous environmental functions or
Bird habitat has been progressively degraded and
dominated by roads, buildings, power lines and
“ecosystem services” by consuming insects,
destroyed by human activity. In Toronto, what was
artificial lighting. In addition, birds are further
pollinating plants and dispersing seeds.
once a diverse ecosystem of extensive wetlands,
threatened by habitat loss through urban sprawl and
upland hardwood and mixed forest is now
the effects of climate change. Birds are also killed by human factors such as recreational hunting, pesticide
poisoning, outdoor cats and collisions with vehicles,
building and power lines. Tommy Thompson Park
You can help protect our birds in several ways: • Plant native shrubs and bird-friendly gardens. By growing a diversity of native plants that fruit at different times of the year, gardeners can provide a food source for birds.
Site enhancements include: • Planting native trees and shrubs that serve as food and shelter.
• Installing habitat structures to provide additional shelter.
• Expanding wooded areas and reducing mown grass.
• Controlling invasive species.
• Keeping dead trees and shrubs on the the site, that either remain standing (snags) or fallen (downed woody debris) and preserving existing habitat such as nest cavities that serve as bird habitat. • Blocking off unsustainable trails that impact on bird habitat. • Installing interpretive signage.
Protecting bird populations – what you can do
• Install bird houses and bird feeders. Place bird feeders within one metre or less of any glass surface to help minimize birds colliding into windows. • Eliminate pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
• Ensure that exterior decorative or security lighting in your yard is shielded, which helps to direct the light downward.
The goal of the Natural Environment and Community Programs Section of Toronto Parks, Forestry a