The Atlanta area is home to over 250 species of birds. Whether you’re seeing them majestically soaring up in the sky from Stone Mountain, seeing them as you’re swimming in the Chattahoochee River, or bird-watching as you’re sitting on your back porch, it’s hard to go anywhere and not find a sign of our feathered friends.
Known for their beauty and ability to soar above our heads, birds are also a key component of a healthy ecosystem. Many birds act as natural pest control, targeting insects and small mammals as their prey. Birds also act as plant pollinators and seed dispersers, aiding plants in reproduction. Like many other wild species, birds face human-caused threats to their survival, from habitat fragmentation and habitat loss to accidental window strikes. We can all help mitigate these threats through some simple actions.
Make a healthy home for birds. Make your back yard more bird-friendly through the creation of natural habitat for birds. Planting trees, shrubbery and flowers encourages birds to visit and nest in your yard. Providing food is another great way to attract and support bird species. Changing up the type of feeder and food can vary based on the types of birds that are visiting you at any given time. No matter which feeder or food you choose, make sure to clean feeders out regularly to keep birds healthy.
Get a healthy cup of Joe. Habitat loss is a threat to birds all over the world. Through the purchasing of bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee, you can support sustainable habitats for birds. Many migratory bird species that spend the summer in Georgia spend the winter in Central America. Shaded coffee farms in Central America provide critical habitat for birds, as well as give the coffee plants their preferred growing conditions. You can find shade-grown coffee for purchase from the Atlanta Audubon Society, or you can go to the National Zoo’s Bird Friendly Coffee website to learn more about the brands near you.
Create window decorations. Birds have a challenge discerning windows because of the reflection of the glass and can sustain serious and even fatal injuries in window strikes. You can bird-proof your windows by placing special bird strike decals on your windows to create a visual barrier for birds. There are various patterns, both opaque and translucent; learn more about all the options by going to the American Bird Conservancy.
Want to know more about birds and how you can help? Visit Zoo Atlanta. At the Zoo, you can explore a diversity of bird life from around the world, as well as see birds demonstrate their natural behaviors as part of World of Wild Theater demonstrations.
Vice President of Education