The still-growing population of humans worldwide created a hunger for resources, including land to be used for food production and shelter. However, in exchange, wild animals lost their natural habitats and sources of food. Many species have already gone extinct or are on their way to extinction due to their changing environment.
Nearly 1,500 species of birds around the world are now considered threatened because of declining populations.
Development does not always have to be destructive to wildlife. Homeowners can create a backyard where birds of all kinds can perch and rest. It will create an attractive environment for humans and wildlife to enjoy, but it also helps support the local ecosystem.
A Lush Backyard
There are only three things that birds need: food, water, and shelter.
Birds primarily eat fruits and seeds. Most species of birds also consume insects and other small animals that thrive in green spaces. So, having a lush garden is a priority.
A garden also provides birds with a safe habitat to raise their young and hide from predators. Moreover, plants create shade which offers a reprieve from the hot summer sun and a dry space when it starts raining.
However, the type of vegetation in your backyard matters. Experts recommend growing native plants that support the local ecosystem. According to previous research, when communities grow non-native plants, the population of insects declines. It is because native plants provide exactly what the local wildlife needs. Non-native plants are not bad, but they offer very little to the insects and small animals that thrive in the environment. A native oak, for example, supports over 530 species of butterfly and caterpillars.
Without insects, the local bird population will not likely find your backyard appealing.
Moreover, native trees also provide a better shelter for birds. In one study, researchers found that the bigger the canopy cover of a tree, the better it becomes a habitat for most native birds. When the appropriate shelter is absent, birds tend to build nests where they should not be. Birds sometimes choose gutters to lay their eggs. This, therefore, makes cleaning the gutter tricky. Nesting materials can clog the gutter when it starts raining.
Putting up birdhouses is a good idea, too. However, not all birds will choose to use it.
Water for Hot Summer Days
Birds get water anywhere it is present, including from the fruits they eat. However, in times of drought, finding a water source becomes more difficult for these winged creatures. Thus, leaving behind a water feeder will help them thrive.
A water feeder allows birds to also bathe every day, which is a good addition to your garden even when there is no drought. It will help the local bird population maintain hydration and stay cool.
Stop Using Pesticides
The lives of birds are inherently connected to plants and insects. All three are essential to each other’s survival. Insects, for one, depend on plants for nectar. Meanwhile, plants rely on insects taking pollen and spreading it. Birds consume fruits and seeds from plants. Birds also eat the insects that hang around plants.
And, when one part of that connection disappears, the whole thing will crumble. Pesticides control pests and prevent diseases that destroy crops, but these also kill insects that are important pollinators, such as honeybees. The substance also eliminates ladybugs which are helpful to plants because they eat garden pests.
Moreover, with the absence of insects, birds will not have anything to feed on. They can survive by eating fruits and seeds, but insects are necessary for a thriving ecosystem.
Eliminating the use of pesticides is overall good for the local wildlife, the environment at large, and human health.
Reduce Window Strikes
It is common for birds to fly at and crash into a window. In urban areas, it is a fairly frequent occurrence. This happens because windows reflect the sky. Birds cannot discern which is glass and which is open space where they can safely fly through.
Homeowners can prevent window strikes by sticking decals on glass. Some decals are specifically made to deter birds and stop them from hitting the window.
People can also install netting or screens in front of glass as a form of cushioning so that strikes will not be as painful or deadly to birds.
Birds are not a nuisance or harmful to humans. There is no reason for people to drive them away. Birds create a healthy ecosystem and add life to your garden.