Bird-Friendly Communities

4 Tips for a Bird-Friendly Habitat

Creating a bird-friendly habitat is easier than you think. Simply think of it as a recipe with four key ingredients: food, water shelter, and nesting sites. Below are suggestions to help you get started or add on to your bird-friendly habitat. Natural options appear first in each category. If space and resources allow, start with natural options and supplement with human-made items. This helps to provide a sustainable, layered approach that will support birds and other wildlife across the seasons well into the future. Need design inspiration? Click here for sample garden plans.


Think bird-friendly food groups when adding native plants and feeders: insects, seeds, berries, & nectar.

  • Native trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses
  • Dead wood and fallen leaves
  • Seed and nectar feeders
  • Suet
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

Provide birds with clean water sources all year long for drinking, bathing, and preening.

  • Streams, creeks, vernal pools
  • Wetlands
  • Rain gardens
  • Bird baths, ponds, water garden
  • Fountains (traditional or drip)
  • Other depressions, downspout pools, and pooling areas

Aim for a variety of heights and textures to provide plenty of options for birds to rest, avoid predators, and build nests.

  • Native trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns (including evergreens)
  • Native fencerows/bramble patches
  • Log, brush, or rock piles
  • Meadows
  • Discarded Christmas trees
  • Nest and winter roost boxes

Offer natural and human-made options for birds to nest safely, away from predators and other threats.

  • Multiple native trees, shrubs
  • Standing dead trees
  • Meadows and grasslands
  • Nest boxes, platforms, cups
  • Accessible barn or structure
  • Chimney Swift tower/accessible chimney
  • Abandoned silo


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Bird-Friendly Communities

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How you can help, right now

Audubon Maryland-DC and Audubon Pennsylvania have joined forces to become Audubon Mid-Atlantic.