Beyond the Bird Feeder

Birds need more than sunflower seeds and sugar water in order to survive. They need a place to rest, eat, drink, bathe, raise their young and hide from predators. 

Many birds never eat at feeders, and habitat loss is the single most important cause of species decline. Your yard, whatever its size, can offer habitat for birds when you plant natives and provide natural habitat. Native plants are best adapted to your region and should thrive with minimal care. According to the National Wildlife Federation, native plants support 10-50 times as many wildlife species as nonnative plants.

By landscaping with a diversity of native plants, shrubs and trees, you can offer year-round bounty of insects, seeds and fruits. This, in turn, makes your entire yard a bird feeder. 

Here are a few things you can do in your yard to help our winged friends: 

o Recreate layers of plant growth found in local natural areas – a mix of wildflowers, shrubs and trees

o Provide a water source year-round

o Select a variety of plants to offer food year-round

o Plant the same species in small clumps

o Limit the size of your lawn

o Avoid using pesticides

o Leave some leaf litter on the ground

Looking for native plants for your yard? Come to the District’s Native Plant Sale May 6 and May 7 at Mayslake Peabody Estate

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