Gardening for Birds
Why Garden for Birds
Birds are an important part of a healthy ecosystem- They serve as pollinators and seed dispersers, and provide natural insect control. Despite this, avian populations have been in decline. It is estimated that the North American bird population has decreased by almost 30% in just the last 50 years*, with loss of habitat being the biggest contributing factor. With this decline we are also losing the important ecosystem services birds provide.
By creating a bird-friendly garden we can help support these vital members of the ecosystem, while adding experiential value to our yards and gardens.
Creating a Bird-Friendly Space
To create a bird-friendly environment in your own yard, start by addressing their basic needs- Food, Shelter, and Water.
Consider adding native seed, berry, or nut producing plants to the landscape. Baby birds are especially dependent on insects for food, so consider leaving fallen leaves on the yard and eliminating (or at least reducing) the use of pesticides.
Birds use cover at various heights for shelter. Consider a layered approach- provide groundcover, mid-height shrubbery, and taller trees if space allows. Consider other features in the yard that may provide safe shelter.
Water can be provided by placing a birdbath, a pond, or even a small saucer filled with water in the yard. Be sure to either keep the water moving and/or keep it fresh. Birds also appreciate a rock or pebbles to perch on while they drink.
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