Bird-Friendly Communities

Spruce Up the Garden—and Attract and Protect Birds with Native Plants

You can turn your yard, patio, or balcony into a haven for birds and other pollinators by choosing native plants!

Your garden is your outdoor sanctuary. With some careful plant choices, it can be a haven for birds, bugs, and important pollinators as well. Choosing native plants will attract a wider variety of birds by offering more food options and places to rest, while making your space beautiful, easy to care for, and better for the environment.

In the face of threats such as climate change and habitat loss, you can help birds thrive right where you live by making your yard more bird-friendly with native plants. To survive, native birds need native plants and the insects that have co-evolved with them. Native plants offer essential berries, insects, nuts, seeds, and nectar that birds depend on to feed their young.

“Choosing native plants is one simple way that we as individuals can contribute to a healthier environment for birds and people,” says Ana Paula Tavares, [former] Executive Director of Audubon New York. “With plant species that are native to New York - like Beebalm or Trumpet Honeysuckle - your yard, patio, or balcony will become a vital recharging station and food source for nesting birds and their chicks this spring.”

Finding native plants and the local New York-based nurseries that sell them is easy with Audubon’s Native Plant Database. Enter your zip code and email to receive a list of the best flowers, shrubs, and trees for birds in your area, as well as nearby nurseries and other local resources.

Nurseries depend on local gardeners to know what plants are popular. The more public demand they receive for native plants, the more nurseries across our state could add bird and pollinator-friendly native plants to their inventory!

For those seeking inspiration, here are a few examples of native plants and the bird species they support:

Butterfly Milkweed, a bright orange perennial is a perfect choice to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your yard. Hearty and drought-tolerant, milkweed grows best in full sun.

Cardinal-Flower is another pollinator favorite and is especially attractive to hummingbirds. This species can grow in full sun to shade and produces vibrant red flowers.

Common Sunflowers serve as nature’s own bird-feeder, providing ample seed to species such as cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees, and waxwings.

Large-Flower Tickseed is beautifully bright and happy in the shade. This plant produces yellow flowers in early to mid-summer and is favored by vireos, wood warblers, and woodpeckers.

Get started today! Explore plants for your region using the Audubon Native Plant Database and get digging for birds – then sit back, relax, and enjoy watching them as they flock to your yard, deck, or balcony.

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