Landscaping your yard with native plants can offer native bird species a refuge and help counteract habitat loss.
Times are tough for our beloved backyards birds. Among the many threats they face are cigarette butts (which they can mistake for food) and potential poisoning from pesticides and herbicides; however, the biggest threat to our native bird populations is habitat loss and degradation. And like the other two threats, this is directly due to human activities.
According to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, “more than 95% of Tallgrass Prairie habitat in the US has been destroyed since the 1800s.” That’s just one example of how humans have destroyed habitats in favour of agricultural or commercial development. Even our prized greens spaces, such as grass lawns, don’t offer enough biodiversity for native birds to thrive. However, a new study has offered one solution that can support our native bird population: native landscaping in urban areas.
The study was conducted in Arizona, so although the birds and plants in question are different, the same concepts may be applied to different regions. Much like urban gardening, native landscaping in urban areas makes use of the often-overlooked city areas and finds creative ways to let plants flourish. Here, the goal is to mimic native landscapes, offering birds “mini refuges.”
You can seek advice about the native plants in your unique region at your local landscaping store or nursery, or research upcoming native gardening courses in your community.