The opportunity to restore many wild bird populations rests on their remarkable ability to replenish their numbers when they find good habitat. ~ Stephen Kress
Where to Begin
You’ve got the swing set installed for the kids, the patio and BBQ area well situated and a hammock strung securely between two trees. Your lawn is lush (through organic management, of course) and your foundation planting is neatly trimmed and symmetrical. But there’s that part of the yard—it may be a corner, a side lot, or a fencerow—that is only traversed when the errant Frisbee sails wide. Sure would be great not to have to mow that area.
No matter where it is on the property or the size, it’s an ideal spot for bird habitat.
Here’s where you can begin to manipulate the vegetation with a simple goal of providing food and cover for birds by mimicking those qualities of the natural land that once existed here. Layering native plants to create a density reminiscent of local forests for example, is a key concept.
The same concepts can be applied to smaller properties on a lesser scale. Offsetting limiting factors by planting native, bird-friendly vegetation can improve bird diversity…and may help discourage common non-native species found in more urban areas.With a little patience and the right selection of plants, your work will be rewarded with a variety of curious birds that stop to explore rather than sidestepping what was formerly lawn. As you begin to witness the new lives sharing the yard (and your Frisbee skills improve), you’ll be moved to increase the size of the bird garden and reduce the expansiveness of your lawn and the adherent maintenance.
Corporate and business campuses often have vast areas that are underutilized yet painstakingly maintained with mowing (noise, air pollution) and chemicals (ecological damage). These areas can be planted for birds which would in turn lead to recreational opportunities for employees, visitors, and the local community.