bird feeders toronto

Toronto birdwatcher makes epic bird feeders and locals love them

If you're walking along Taylor Creek, head up the concrete set of Alder stairs and you'll spot some interesting devices hanging from the trees. 

A tin pie plate decked out with raisins, cranberries, and pine cones now swings from a naked tree. There's another frozen hanging cocktail of bird feed nearby. 

bird feeder toronto

Parkview Hills resident Patti Callahan has been hanging some special bird feeders up at Taylor Creek. Photo via Patti Callahan.

These 'winter suncatchers' come from Patti Callahan, a resident of nearby Parkview Hills.

For the past month, Callahan and her husband have been adding birdfeeders to this part of the ravine, some made of scrap wood.

They're not the first to do it: There's an avid group of birders and nature photographers that walk along the Don River, sharing their updates through community groups like Beauty of The Don

bird feeder toronto

The area by the Alder stairs leading to Taylor Creek is now decorated with a slew of feeders from community members. Photo via Patti Callahan.

Other neighbours have added bird feeders to this stretch of Taylor Creek too, like suet holders for woodpeckers, making it a community-wide affair. 

Callahan's newer pie plate versions are particularly interesting: she fills them up with an assortment of snacks like peanuts and bird seed, sumac, then fills them up with water and ties them with twine. 

bird feeder toronto

Patti Callahan makes a number of different bird feeders, including frozen ones made of seeds and grass. Photo via Patti Callahan.

Callahan and her husband now refill the feeders daily, sometimes even twice a day.

"I made this bird feeding station to bring some joy to others during a very difficult time," she says. 

bird feeder toronto

The bird feeders have been drawing both chickadees and local residents. Photo via Patti Callahan.

It seems small, but during a global pandemic, when spending time outdoors is one of the few things still permitted, the impact has been big.

The chickadees have been flocking to them and the bird feeders have become something of a neighbourhood attraction, drawing residents to the newly-added bench nearby to witness the feeding.

"COVID has been very tough for so many people and birds bring me such joy and it has really started to bring many others joy as well," she said. "It makes my heart very happy to listen to people and see them enjoying the birds at the feeders." 

Lead photo by

Martin Thoene

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