In 2015, Audubon North Carolina initiated its Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year Program to highlight native plants that specifically benefit birds, our environment, and our local economy. The program was created in response to the threat to birds from climate change.
You can make a positive difference!
As individuals, we can make a difference by simply making our yards more bird-friendly. Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society is partnering with local plant nurseries and growers to offer more bird-friendly native plants for local buyers seeking native plants for their backyards.
Why are native plants important?
In a word: insects. Almost all land birds require insects to feed their young. Even seed-eating birds must provide insects to their nestlings to ensure the survival of their offspring. Many native insects have co-evolved with native plant species and cannot adapt to eating non-native plants. Fewer native plants means fewer insects, which in turn means fewer young birds surviving to adulthood. Growing more native plants will provide food and shelter for both resident and migrant birds as their natural habitats continue to disappear.
Replacing lawn with native plants has additional benefits for humans and the planet: less mowing and maintenance, which translates to fewer greenhouse gas emissions! Plus, native plants are adapted to the growing conditions in our area, which means they generally require much less maintenance than introduced plants do.
"By gardening with native plants—no matter where you live or how small or large your space is—you can help sustain wildlife.”
Bringing Nature Home
Ready to get started with native plants? Click here for a list of participating local nurseries!
If you have incorporated bird-friendly native plants in your garden and now wish to help spread the word about how planting native species benefits birds, get an Audubon Plants for Birds sign! Visit this National Audubon Society page to order your very own sign, and show your neighbors that you are an advocate for birds!
Want more information about native plants and the birds they benefit?
The following resources are a great place to start: