Over 85 bird species have been recorded at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver and as of today, they have a new home.
After officially opened on Thursday, the Backyard Bird Garden offers an enhanced habitat for resident and migratory birds.
“The Backyard Bird Garden demonstrates how anyone with a yard or balcony can create habitat for birds with the right selection of plants and shrubs to provide food, shelter and nesting habitat,” said Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.
The garden includes perennials such as anise hyssop, which is a source of food for hummingbirds, goldfinches, and other small birds native to North America.
Deciduous trees such as vine maple grow well in containers, and provide food and open branches for perching. Evergreen shrubs, such as salal, offer cover and a safe place to nest.
The new garden was a collaborative effort developed and funded in partnership with the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, a charitable organization which jointly manages VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory with the Vancouver Park Board.
An anonymous gift of $10,000 from a private donor was used towards constructing a child-sized birdhouse in the Backyard Bird Garden as well.
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To celebrate the opening, the park board is offering free entry to both the VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory garden for upto 2 children when accompanied by a paying adult, senior or youth between March 1-29.
Family friendly bird walks, talks, and activities – free with admission – will be hosted on weekends in March at VanDusen.
At drop-in workshops Saturdays from 10 am to 2:30 pm, children can join VBGA Education staff to investigate bird nests and predict which birds built them, explore the functions of feathers, and learn how to preen like a bird.
Any day of the week young birders can enjoy the Junior Birder Challenge while exploring the garden and receive a junior birder button upon completion.
A bird themed spring break camp “Citizen Science: The Birds in your Backyard” takes place Friday, March 23. More information is available online.