Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Category: Ecology (page 2 of 2)

Why you should make your chimney available to Chimney Swifts

When the winter hearth fires are soon put out until next autumn comes, this article, how to make your chimney a home for chimney swifts, is an inspiration to an urban wildlife lover (click the link for a 6-minute read). Note: a chimney swift is a bird, an aerial insectivore. Not a dusty child from a Charles Dickens novel!

The key point is if your chimney is not lined with a metal tube, you’re in luck! You could host some chimney swifts. Their numbers have dwindled and habitat has declined, but with an open-sided chimney cap and a good cleaning of your chimney, you could take part in boosting their numbers now!

At Le Nichoir, where I have volunteered in the past, they have an aviary for rehab and a habitat for healthy chimney swifts. As I later found out, Hurricane Wilma in 2005 decimated Quebec’s population of chimney swifts. Their population still needs help. Continue reading

Gardening for Wildlife: Free Backyard Certification

What Rewilding is about is making your architecture and garden hospitable to nature. We want to help you do that – and so we’ll offer you a free backyard certification to make sure it is wildlife-friendly ($10 for the certification itself with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, free for the Espace pour la vie). Our service will help give you great ideas to make your back yard as zen as can be (such as the pond pictured here), while welcoming wildlife and beneficial insects. The CWF will, for a low ($15) cost, send you a sturdy outdoor sign that you can hang to show your guests and neighbours – a well-earned right to brag!

Continue reading

A mountain meadow in an urban setting

Across from the Montreal General Hospital on Cedar Avenue, Mont Royal park begins. And it starts with stairs to a meadow.

Right away you see Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory blooming.


You also see purple bells, but I don’t know their name.

I stopped to listen to and record a tiny bird up in the dead tree, with a sweet three-part song.  Continue reading

Newer posts