Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Native plants providing the necessary foods birds need to survive and thrive

Photo: Will Stuart

"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. 

Going Native
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. These invasive exotic plants encroach on natural habitats 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 young. 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. 

Where to find native plants?
Below, you will find a list of recommended and approved nurseries in North Carolina that specialize in selling native seeds and plants. These retailers are all participating partners of Audubon North Carolina's Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year program. 

Why Go Native for Birds
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Why Go Native for Birds

Native plants play a very important role in providing the food birds need to survive and thrive.

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Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year List
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year List

The Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year list is here! Download it now.

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Find Bird-Friendly Native Plants Retailers
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Find Bird-Friendly Native Plants Retailers

Find a retailer near you that carries the Native Plants of the Year

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Bird-Friendly Native Plants Lists
Bird Friendly Native Plants Lists

Bird-Friendly Native Plants Lists

Find all the resources you need to make your backyard bird friendly. Download list of native plants that work for your area.

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Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year: For Gardeners
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year: For Gardeners

We’re partnering with local plant nurseries and growers to offer more bird-friendly native plants to add to your garden to help our birds.

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Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year: For Growers and Retailers
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year: For Growers and Retailers

We are creating a local base of buyers for native plants, and now we need YOU – our local growers and nurserymen.

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Native Plant Brochures Now Available in Spanish
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Native Plant Brochures Now Available in Spanish

We are excited to announce that all three of our regional native plants for birds brochures (mountain, piedmont and coast) are now available in Spanish

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Native Plant Profiles
Native Plant Profiles

Native Plant Profiles

Get information on how to make your favorite native plants thrive in your bird-friendly garden.

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Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year Program
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year Program

Audubon North Carolina's Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year program works to bring back native plants that specifically benefit birds, our environment and our local economy.

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Learn More About Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Building Better Communities for Birds
Bird-Friendly Communities

Building Better Communities for Birds

The Bird-Friendly Communities program was intended to create projects in the places that people live to ensure that birds are always among us.

700 Bird-Friendly Native Plants for North Carolina
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

700 Bird-Friendly Native Plants for North Carolina

The list now includes every North Carolina species that appears in Dr. Larry Mellichamp’s “Native Plants of the Southeast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden,” as well as all North Carolina Botanical Garden “Wildflower of the Year” plants!

Governor's Western Residence Blooms
Bird-Friendly Communities

Governor's Western Residence Blooms

After the bird-friendly garden in Raleigh was revealed last fall, the First Lady and Governor invited Audubon to refresh to Governor's Western Residence in Asheville!

Boone Bird Garden Groundbreaking and Celebration
Bird-Friendly Communities

Boone Bird Garden Groundbreaking and Celebration

This project transforms a school courtyard into a colorful garden full of plants that will produce flowers, seeds, and berries that will in turn attract birds and other pollinators.

We’re Nuts About These Bird-Friendly Native Plants
Bird-Friendly Communities

We’re Nuts About These Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Nuts and seeds are a very important source of fat for birds as they help keep their skin and feathers healthy. Check out these four species from our 2018 Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year list!

Sweeten Up Your Backyard With These Native Nectar Plants
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Sweeten Up Your Backyard With These Native Nectar Plants

Nectar is a sweet treat that provides essential nutrients for one of our most recognizable backyard birds - the hummingbird! Find the best native nectar-producing plants for birds here.

These Bird-Friendly Native Plants are Berry Special
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

These Bird-Friendly Native Plants are Berry Special

Berries are so important to birds. Check out these top four types of bountiful berry plants on our 2018 Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year list!

New Hope Audubon’s Guide to a Bird-Friendly Backyard
Bird-Friendly Communities

New Hope Audubon’s Guide to a Bird-Friendly Backyard

Through their Bird-Friendly Habitat Certification Program, New Hope Audubon Society (NHAS) is working to restore native habitats by helping residents in Orange, Durham and Chatham counties take steps to make their property bird-friendlier.

Brightening the Greensboro Bog Garden
Bird-Friendly Communities

Brightening the Greensboro Bog Garden

Members of the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society in Greensboro are removing exotic, invasive plants at the local public “Bog Garden” at Benjamin Park—and replacing them with bird-friendly native species.

First Lady Kristin Cooper Reveals a Bird and Pollinator-Friendly Garden at the Executive Mansion
News

First Lady Kristin Cooper Reveals a Bird and Pollinator-Friendly Garden at the Executive Mansion

"As someone who loves birds, gardening and our natural environment, I wanted the Executive Mansion native plant garden to be a model for those interested in supporting birds and wildlife in their own backyards,” said the First Lady.

How you can help, right now