2018 is officially the Year of the Bird. And with spring arriving shortly and bird migration on its way, Eastside Audubon invites bird enthusiasts to grow bird-friendly native plants at home. Through Audubon’s Plants for Birds public online database, anyone nationwide can access a list of native plants that benefit their favorite local bird species, by just typing in their ZIP code.
“Did you know that 96 percent of land birds feed insects and spiders to their chicks? A single nest of chickadee babies may scarf down as many as 9,000 caterpillars before they fledge. Native tree species are better for birds because they host many more caterpillars,” said Dr. John Rowden, director of community conservation for the National Audubon Society.
Gardens are outdoor sanctuaries for birds, insects and other wildlife. Every spring, migrating birds visit our yards looking for nourishment from our gardens and places to raise their chicks. By adding native plants to one’s yard, balcony, container garden, rooftop or public space, anyone, anywhere can not only attract more birds but give them the best chance of survival in the face of climate change and urban development.
“Birds and native plants are made for each other thanks to millions of years of evolution,” adds Rowden. “As plants grow and bloom earlier because of warming temperatures, there is a growing mismatch between bloom times and the arrival of birds that depend on them. Habitat provided by native plants can help climate threatened birds adapt and survive.”