Why Birds Need Native Plants
It’s simple: birds need native plants. Native plants provide better sources of food than nonnative plants because they support the insects that birds rely on to feed themselves and their young. Compared to a conventional sod lawn, and a yard full of a diversity of native plants provides much better habitat for birds to nest in.
This habitat can also help birds adapt and survive amid a changing climate. Two-thirds of North American bird species are threatened by climate change, and native plants can help increase their resilience by giving them food and places to rest and nest. Our changing climate is already affecting many species of birds, causing their ranges to shift and shrink over time. Rising temperatures affect the timing of seasons, insect hatches, flower blooms, and other delicate links in the ecosystem that birds depend on. To protect birds from the impacts of a warming world, we need to reduce carbon pollution and protect the native plant habitats they need, now and into the future. Growing native plants is also a great way to reduce your climate impact by using less fertilizers, pesticides and water in your garden.
Once you start experimenting with native plants, you might see some of these climate-threatened birds along the Front Range of Colorado visit your yard, depending on the landscape around you: Green-Tailed Towhee, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch, Western Wood-Pewee, Western Tanager, Broad-Tailed Hummingbird, and Pine Siskin. Birds and pollinators will benefit from your garden more than ever right now. Enjoy photos of some of these beautiful birds below, courtesy of Audubon Rockies. For help identifying the birds that visit your garden, use the Audubon's Guide To North American Birds or download The Audubon Bird Guide App for free!