Best Bird News of 2021

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

As we reflect back on 2021, it's important to highlight the good that came to us this past year. We thought it would be nice to point out some good news that came about over the course of 2021, pertaining to what we love- BIRDS!

Here we go:

1. An Uptake in Birding + Interest in Bird-Friendly Coffee 

Nashville Warbler. Photo by Heather Kerrison

This study points out that the excitement around bird watching has grown (woohoo) and this creates an opening for promoting bird-friendly coffee. 

Why? It’s an easy way for people that love birds to directly aid in limiting continued declines in their population. 

How? Bird-friendly coffee is shade grown and specially maintains bird habitats, as opposed to the prevailing practice of clearing habitat to make coffee farms. 

If you want to learn more about bird-friendly coffee, check out our former blog post on the topic here. 

And yes- we sell bird-friendly coffee in-store and online. 

2. A Species Considered Extinct Was Successfully Re-Introduced 

A Species considered extinct, Griffon Vultures, have successfully been re-introduced due to a restoration program. They are one of the largest birds of prey in Europe. 

These vultures call the mountains of Bulgaria home, and have been absent since the 1970's. Due to the efforts of a long term restoration program spanning a decade (2010-2020), over 150 vultures were released back into the area, with upwards of 20 breeding pairs now present. 

You can read the entire study here. 

3. Studies Confirm that Gardening for Wildlife Increases Biodiversity Beyond Your Own Backyard

Native Pollinator Garden. Photo by Kristen Martyn. 

We are huge advocates for gardening for wildlife, introducing pollinator gardens and as many native species as possible to your own yard, to both increase and support biodiversity. This undoubtedly increases biodiversity in your own space, but what about the impacts beyond your own yard? 

A study out of the United States found that this creation of habitat can have real impacts both at a neighbourhood and city scale. 

If you're starting to plan your spring gardens, check out our former blog post on Gardening for Wildlife that details 10 must have plants, here. 

4. Research Shows that Birds Start to Learn Song From the Egg

Red-Breasted Nuthatch eggs in nest. Photo by Kristen Martyn. 

You know how we talk to pregnant bellies? Play them music? 

According to this study, a similar type of learning happens in birds, but instead of in womb, it's in egg. They start vocal learning from their egg! 

Researchers were able to pinpoint fluctuations in heart rate as a response to parent calls, from inside the egg. How sweet is that?! 

5. Scientists Discover that Crows Understand Value 

Fish Crow. Photo by Kristen Martyn. 

If you have not read our recent blog on Corvids, who are all quite incredible in their own ways, please do! Crows show intelligence that astonishes us, and they continue to uncover more about the complex skills of this species. 

This study discovered that crows are more likely to store complex, helpful, foraging tools for later use than a basic tool. So, not only do they understand tools, they understand which tools will continue to be valuable to them in the future (by helping them to successfully forage) and therefore place a higher value on keeping that tool around. How incredible! 

If you're currently needing a bit of an uplift, I hope this provided you with a smile, some hope, and a little joy that we get to share our spaces with the awe-inspiring nature that is birds. 



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