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

Your Go-To Local Experts: Native Plant Retailers
Bird-Friendly Communities

Your Go-To Local Experts: Native Plant Retailers

They can provide tailored recommendations and change their inventory to support demand: here's why else our local Bird-Friendly Native Plant retailers are essential to our bird-friendly communities!

Help North Carolina's Executive Mansion Get Bird and Pollinator-Friendlier
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Help North Carolina's Executive Mansion Get Bird-Friendlier

Help First Lady Kristin Cooper install a pollinator & bird friendly garden at North Carolina’s Executive Mansion!

Highlights From the 2017 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Highlights From the 2017 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference

A great experience for anyone who is interested in planting for birds, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been doing it for decades!

Find the Best Plants for Birds in Your Zip Code
Bird-Friendly Communities

Find the Best Plants for Birds in Your Zip Code

Discover the best bird-friendly native plants in your area by entering your zip code into Audubon's national database!

Blackgum Trees for Big Variety
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Blackgum Trees for Big Variety

Who doesn’t love Blackgum? Thrushes, mimids, woodpeckers, tanagers, and waxwings all flock to this bird-friendly tree from August through October to vie over its berry-like stone fruits.

A Little Sign Goes a Long Way
Bird-Friendly Communities

A Little Sign Goes a Long Way

Adding a "Plants for Birds" sign to your native plant garden will help spread the word to your friends and neighbors that your community is bird-friendly!

A Star Plant to Attract Big-Beaked Birds
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

A Star Plant to Attract Big-Beaked Birds

Flowers like the Star Tickseed make for excellent backyard bird watching.

Nectar for Hummingbirds: The Sweet Azalea
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Nectar for Hummingbirds: The Sweet Azalea

Sweet Azalea is a particularly important food source for our local Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

Announcing the 2017 Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year
Bird-Friendly Native Plants

2017 Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year

A garden filled with an assortment of flowers, shrubs, and trees will attract a wider variety of birds and important insects for years to come.

Bringing Nature to North Carolina
Bird-Friendly Communities

Bringing Nature to North Carolina

Read a special interview with Doug Tallamy, author of "Bringing Nature Home".

How you can help, right now