How's It Growing is a quarterly article by Michella Huff,
Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
Your yard and the flowers, shrubs and trees in it matters to birds! Plants provide important food sources for birds. Natural areas continue to decrease and so do native plants. Native plants are those that occur naturally in your area. North Carolina is home to thousands of native plant species. Native plants are a home for our birds. Why are native plants important for birds? Insects! Virtually all land birds- 96%- require insect food for their young. Native plants support healthy populations of insect, including caterpillars, that breeding birds feed their nestlings. However, non-native plants contain foreign compounds that most native insects won’t eat. Without insects for food, baby birds starve. By adding native plants to your yard, you can help restore the imbalance created by non-native plantings and ensure the survival of future generations of birds. A great resource for finding what native plants selections are, www.ncwildflower.org (NC Native Plant Society) and www.ncbg.unc.edu (NC Botanical Garden). Here are a few native plants and the food sources it provides to birds:
Many nonnative plants are beautiful but do not provide enough resources to sustain bird populations. The above list of plants will provide beauty and color for your own yard while nurturing the bird’s habitat as well.