Build it and they will come

Our first guest blogger on What Happens Outside is none other than my mom, Nicole Richer. My mom has given me the passion to study nature from an early age. When I was a little girl, she always had a nature project going around the house like creating mushroom spore prints in the living room and studying Baltimore oriole nests with the colorful yarns she would leave around yard. My mom is the true naturalist in the family and I just try to follow in her footsteps. Please look for her blog posts as she plans on sharing some of her naturalist projects and discuss various aspects of nature from her small country town in the province of Quebec, Canada.

By guest blogger: Nicole Richer

When I bought my house in an agricultural environment on the south short of Montreal, my wish was to create a garden to attract birds. Though the landscaping 15 feet around the house was very nice, the far part of the backyard had been plowed and the land was completely bare. Looking at this land, I had a vision of ‘Build it and they will come’.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak by Nicole Richer

Rose-breasted Grosbeak by Nicole Richer

The garden started small with flowers, feeders and a bird bath. The first years, few birds came but my vision was big. I let nature takes its course, letting trees and wild flowers take over. Year after year, I was building my dream garden. It grew bigger and bigger with many trees, flowers feeders and a pond.

Being located in a Migration Route, rare birds (for where I live) are now stopping by to take shelter after a long trip from the South. The routes followed by migratory birds are numerous, some are simple and easily traced, and others are extremely complicated. No two species follow exactly the same path from beginning to end. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the Golden-crowned Kinglets are rare visitors which stay only for a few days in my garden.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Nicole Richer

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Nicole Richer

As seasons roll on, it’s always a pleasure to greet the new and old arrivals to my garden. As of now, 51 bird species have visited my garden which offers shelter, food, bath and protection. My reward is found in the free concerts I have the pleasure to listen to every day.

Nicole's garden by Nicole Richer

Nicole's garden by Nicole Richer

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song
— Chinese Proverb