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

Ready to enroll your home in the Bird-Friendly Habitat regognition program? Click here for all the details! 


Birdy Dozen
Plants For Birds

Birdy Dozen

An Annual List of Recommended Native Plants for your Garden Space

Read more

Buy Local with Bird-Friendly Blooms
Bird-Friendly Communities

Buy Local with Bird-Friendly Blooms

Find native plants for your bird-friendly habitat while supporting neighborhood businesses.

Read more

How you can help, right now

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