"It's simple: By gardening with native plants, no matter where you live or how small or large your space is, you can help sustain wildlife." - Doug Tallamy Bringing Nature Home
Your yard -- and the kinds of plants in it -- matters more than you may know. Native plants play a very important role in providing the food birds need to survive and thrive in a way that non-native plants cannot do.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in an area. North Carolina, with its diverse geography, is home to thousands of native plant species! Our natural wildlife - including birds - have adapted to the resources provided by North Carolina's native plant population. These plants and trees are, in a real sense, home for our birds.
The current population of native plants is becoming displaced by non-native, exotic and often vigorously growing species. Also known as invasive species, exotics don't occur naturally in North Carolina, and are considered to be harmful based on their ability to rapidly grow and spread without any natural predators to curb their activity. These plants encroach on natural habitats, increase erosion and do not provide the nutrients many birds need to survive.
Why are native plants important?
In a word: insects... Almost all land birds require insects to feed their chicks. Even seed-eating birds often must feed their babies insects to ensure their survival. Insects cannot adapt to eating non-native plants. Less native plants means less insects, which in turn means fewer bird babies growing to adulthood.
Find region specific native plant guides below.