Birds have lost a tremendous amount of habitat due to human development. The mission of the Bird-Friendly Habitat project is to improve bird habitat in private yards and public spaces across our area through public education and demonstration gardens.
Birds need food, shelter, nesting areas, and water. Native plants (plants which existed here before European settlers arrived) are key to the first three needs and are also the foundation of a healthy ecosystem. The Bird-Friendly Habitat project promotes the use of native plants in landscaping, whether a yard, patio, park, school, or business.
Native plants attract a higher number and greater diversity of beneficial insects. This benefits birds and their babies. Ninety-six percent of land birds feed insects, particularly caterpillars, to their nestlings. Seeds, nuts, berries, and nectar from native plants are also important and nutritious food sources for birds. Native shrubs and trees provide shelter and nesting opportunities.
For more information and tips to get started in making your own bird-friendly habitat, check out the following links. Start small and have fun!
The National Audubon Society and Pennsylvania Audubon both provide helpful information about native plants and bird-friendly habitat.
4 Tips for a Bird-Friendly Habitat
Why Native Plants are Better for Birds and People
Ten Plants for a Bird-Friendly Yard
Three Garden Plans by Audubon Mid-Atlantic
More Garden Plans by Prairie Moon Nursery, used with their permission.
Please note that not all of the plants used are native to Pennsylvania.
Native Plants for the Small Yard is a 60-page booklet that includes
beautiful garden plans as well as tables of information about specific
Pollinator Plants Arranged by Bloom Time
The Native Plants Database lists plants that are native for your zip code
and allows you to select the type of plant, the food it provides to birds,
and even the type of bird you want to attract.
Bird collisions with windows result in many bird fatalities. Here are two products that make windows visible so that birds don't fly into them: FeatherFriendly and Acopian BirdSavers. For even more types of window treatments, go to FLAP Canada.
Finally, if you want your outdoor space to be recognized as a Bird-Friendly Habitat, review and complete this simple application. For a donation of $30, you will receive a colorful metal yard sign that will celebrate and advertise your commitment to birds.