Since 2010, the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group, with funding from various sources such as Cotton Trust Fund, WWF Go Wild, and PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, have developed a variety of programs aimed at improving habitat and food sources for local and migrating birds. At the beginning of our ventures into the birding aspect of wildlife, we partnered with the carpentry program at Charlottetown Rural High School; the students constructed birdhouses* and bathouses for distribution to public parks and community residents. Additionally, bathouses were built by Leigh Farrar.
*A variety of birdhouses are created for chickadees, tree swallows, flickers and robins.
As the years passed and the group recognized the popularity of the programs, SAWIG decided to create an initiative entitled “Building Better Backyards for Birds“. Rather than simply giving out birdhouses etc., we decided it was time for a more hands-on approach! Residents were now offered the opportunity to construct their own birdfeeders, birdhouses, hummingbird feeders and birdbaths. The popularity of this series has been tremendous, with sold out events every year! We host at least 2 birding events per year, with our “Build-a-Birdfeeder” and “Build-a-Birdhouse” events being the most popular.
Additionally, we received funding from the Wildlife Conservation Fund and Wilson’s Fuels to erect 2 osprey nesting platforms within the Stratford municipality; these platforms are located at Pondside and Tea Hills parks.
This project (as a whole) serves to increase the diversity and number of birds in this urban setting, and provides community, educational, and environmental enrichment. Suitable wildlife habitat is vital in an increasingly urban landscape, and this is a unique opportunity for the municipality, schools and community groups to act as amalgamated environmental stewards.
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SAWIG would like to take this opportunity to give a huge thanks to the volunteers who diligently help with the cutting of the materials used for the kits, as well as those who attend the events to help out the residents. Without you, this series would not exist!