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Birds & Plants: The Choices We Make Matter

Many plants produce fruits and seeds that birds use for food, but native plants also attract and feed lots of native insects. Most non-native plants don't. And insects are the essential element that many bird parents need to successfully raise their young. Fewer native plants means fewer insects, which truly means fewer birds.

Case in point, Carolina Chickadees need more than 6,000 caterpillars to successfully feed and fledge five chicks from their nest! Every day, for up to two weeks, it takes chickadees between 150-200 successful foraging sorties to collect that many caterpillars, even in the best of native habitat. It is simply an impossible task in habitats dominated by non-native plants.

So choices do matter. By using more native plants to landscape your yard, you can create a haven for nesting birds...and bring more birds and more joy into your world.





Backyard Habitat – You Can Make a Difference!

Think of your yard as a blank slate.

If you could start from scratch, what would be your ultimate landscape design? A classical French garden? An English cottage garden? Or the tried and true suburban turf grass and shrubbery design?

All of these designs can bring style and beauty to your yard, but if your desire is to have a lot of birds and other wildlife as a part of your landscape…they are sure to fail.

So, why not consider a different garden design…a habitat garden! Habitat gardens display all of the beauty and style as the other designs, but they also attract and nurture a much broader variety of wildlife such as bees, butterflies, birds, and amphibians.

By creating a native landscape that provides wildlife with food, water, shelter and the places they need to raise their young, you will also play a valuable role in helping to reverse some disturbing trends in wildlife populations.

Research has recently quantified the loss of almost one-third of our total bird population in North America over the last 50 years, and our Monarch Butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent since the mid-1990s. Scientists have identified habitat loss as the biggest reason for these and other wildlife declines.

Just imagine if we could re-make every suburban lawn in North America into a nurturing wildlife habitat! While once a daunting thought, it is easier and more realistic to do than ever before…thanks to Birds Canada’s Gardening for Birds program. Through the use of Birds Canada’s abundant support materials and online resources, everyone can be inspired to create a haven for wildlife in their own yard.

Wild Birds Unlimited is proud to support the Gardening for Birds program and encourages everyone to plant a habitat garden for birds. Visit www.birdscanada.org/you-can-help/bird-gardens to see how easy it is to create your own backyard habitat and to truly make a difference for the future of song birds and other wildlife.