Have you noticed fewer and fewer birds around your yard? There may be good reason. A new report by North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) reveals over the past 50 years, 70 different species of birds have seen their numbers decrease by at least half. The remaining population is projected to decline by an additional 50 percent over the next 50 years.
Aside from admiring the sheer grace and beauty of birds, these amazing creatures play an important role in maintaining the health of our ecosystems, from pollinating to seed dispersal. Many songbirds also provide valuable pest control services, feeding on insects that can damage crops.
Fortunately, each and everyone of us can take steps to help grow bird populations while attracting more birds to our own backyards! The first step is to plant native plants that attract birds to your yard. There are many to chose from that will look great, benefit you and support birds.
Here are six native plants that pack a powerful diet for 96 percent of backyard birds. Be sure to research the local species native to where you live.
Blue Wood Aster
These plants have a plethora of small blue flowers that bloom from June to November. They grow to a height of 2-4 feet with a spread of 1.5-2 feet and attract songbirds with their seeds, which are especially important during the winter months.
These plants have purple, daisy-like flowers that bloom from June to September and provide seeds for birds, whether fresh or dried. They grow to a height of 3-6 feet with a spread of 2-4 feet and attract a variety of pollinators, including songbirds, native bees, butterflies, bumblebees, hummingbirds, moths, and beneficial insects.
These plants have bright yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom from April to September and attract a variety of pollinators, including songbirds, caterpillars, butterflies, native bees, hummingbirds, bumblebees, moths, and beneficial insects. They grow to a height of 2-5 feet with a spread of 1.5-2 feet and can be grown in partial shade to full sun. They also provide bountiful seeds for songbirds.
These plants have beautiful, bright red flowers that bloom from July to October. They grow to a height of 2-4 feet and have a spread of 1-2 feet. They are a hardy species that can tolerate moist soils. In addition to attracting hummingbirds, they also attract native bees, bumblebees, and butterflies.
This perennial wildflower has unique, long spurred flowers that bloom from March to July. They grow to a height of 1-3 feet with a spread of 1-1.5 feet. They attract a wide variety of pollinators including songbirds, hummingbirds, native bees, beneficial insects, beetles, and bumblebees.
These plants have fragrant, showy flowers in shades of purple, which bloom from May to September. They grow to a height of 1-4 feet with a spread of 2-3 feet. These plants are a pollinator favorite, as not only do they attract songbirds, but also native bees and butterflies.
More Tips for Attracting Birds to Your Home
To attract and protect birds in your garden, you can add sources of food, water, and habitat. This can include installing a bird feeder, a birdbath, and planting native plants and trees or shrubs to provide cover. To protect birds from harm, try to avoid using synthetic pesticides and opt for natural pest control methods instead.
According to Shubber Ali, CEO of Garden for Wildlife, it is important for everyone to prioritize the protection of wildlife and biodiversity. He believes that by saving birds, we will also be able to preserve many other species that coexist with us on the earth.
Birds rely on us for support. By providing the necessary resources, we can make a significant impact on their conservation in just a single weekend. Let’s take action to protect these important members of our ecosystem.