In a growing effort to connect more residents with small, simple actions they can take to help birds thrive, Audubon North Carolina has developed a new program to empower bird lovers to buy and grow bird-friendly native plants. With Audubon NC’s new Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year program, gardeners now have tailored resources to find, purchase and grow native plants that benefit the local birds found in their own backyard.
Planting with the purpose of benefiting birds is a small step toward a larger effort to help them thrive, and no green thumb is required. By joining the Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year program, bird-friendly gardeners will receive year-round information including a curated list of plants to grow each year, where to buy bird-friendly native plants locally, seasonal growing tips, and additional recommendations to benefit birds at home or in the community.
“Over thousands of generations, birds have adapted to the native plants found in North Carolina, feeding on the native insects and berries supported by these plants,” said Director of Land Bird Conservation Curtis Smalling. “By growing natives from Audubon NC’s curated list, gardeners have a great opportunity to help the birds they love with the added benefit of supporting local businesses and nurserymen participating in the program.”
Native plants are a key piece of Audubon NC’s Bird-Friendly Communities conservation effort to protect imperiled birds in North Carolina. One of the featured plants, Spicebush, provides berries that are high in fat and provide a perfect fuel to Wood Thrushes on their long migration journey. Wood Thrushes can fly up to 300 miles in one night.
“More gardeners and growers are joining the program every day, which means more native plants are being grown and more birds will have the food they need to thrive,” said Audubon NC Executive Director Heather Hahn. “By working with local nurseries and empowering our wide network of supporters, we’ve increased the supply, demand and availability for bird-friendly native plants; benefitting our local birds in an important and meaningful way. “
Audubon NC’s Bird-Friendly Communities team has created a list of plants curated by bird and native-plant experts to offer a range of plant species that offer the food birds need during each season, as well as a statewide list of nurseries offering these bird-friendly native plants.
Visit the Audubon NC website to learn more about the Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year program and to find a local bird-friendly plant retailer visit nc.audubon.org.
About Audubon North Carolina
With a century of conservation history in North Carolina, Audubon strives to conserve and restore the habitats we share with all wildlife, focusing on the needs of birds. Audubon North Carolina achieves its mission through a blend of science-based research and conservation, education and outreach, and advocacy. Audubon North Carolina has offices in Corolla, Boone, Wilmington and Chapel Hill. Learn more at nc.audubon.org and @audubonnc.