Help birds and other wildlife: plant native!
As the weather begins to warm up and we all start moving activities outside, you should think about gardening. Did you know that April is National Garden Month? Gardening is not only good for your mental health and aesthetic of your home, but you can also be benefiting your local wildlife. By having a garden at your house, or even some potted plants on your patio, you can provide homes and food to the native birds and pollinators. One of the best and easiest things you can do is plant native plants and flowers!
If you use native plants in your garden, you are providing the best natural food sources for birds and pollinators. By planting native flowers, you are providing nectar to honeybees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Native plants drop seeds and fruit that are nutritionally important to native birds. The native plants also attract insects that birds prefer to eat. According to the National Audubon Society, some of the best options for North Georgia are American beauty berry, American hazelnut, Little purple American aster, and Large-flower tickseed, just to name a few. The National Audubon Society website has a database to help you out with a full list of options. They even will tell you what birds may be attracted to those plants: https://www.audubon.org/native-plants.
At Zoo Atlanta, the Bird Team has been working with our Horticulture Team to plant more native plants and flowers around the Zoo. This has been important to helping conservation efforts locally. This also helps support native plant populations that might be getting out competed by invasive plants. Zoo Atlanta has become an important habitat for many birds, especially migratory birds. By helping to ensure the plants and flowers around the Zoo are native and not toxic, we are supporting many birds that either live here or that stop to eat and rest at the Zoo before moving onto their next location. By planting native plants in your own home garden, you are doing the same!
Keeper I, Birds