10 Easy Ways To Be "Bird Friendly"

Blanket Flower1. Plant natives in your yard. Native plants support birds (and butterflies and bees, too!) by providing food, shelter, and nesting sites as well as stopover habitat during migration. Native plants also need far less fertilizer and water than their non-native counterparts, reducing your costs!

2. Reduce or eliminate pesticide use. Pesticides are poisons that are designed to kill all insects that come into contact with them, including the bees that pollinate our plants, and other insects that are a vital food source for many birds.

3. Install bird feeders to enhance your birdscaping. Give birds a boost during winter and migration by offering black oil sunflower seeds, suet, and other high-energy foods.

4. Create a water feature on your property. Birds get thirsty, too! A small birdbath, fountain, or pond can quench a bird’s thirst. Birds need water in the winter, too, so make sure you give them fresh water year-round.

5. Put up birdhouses to encourage nesting. Many birds nest in cavities, but as our communities become more developed, natural holes in old trees are few and far between. Download FREE birdhouse plans at nestwatch.org.

6. Make your windows “bird safe.” Up to one billion birds die each year in the United States when they hit glass windows, walls, and other structures, making this threat one of the most costly to bird populations. Apply decals to your windows to break up reflections so birds can “see” the windows and avoid them!

7. Keep your cats indoors. Predation by domestic cats is the number-one direct, human-caused threat to birds in the United States and Canada. In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year. Not only will keeping your cat inside help protect birds, but it will also keep your cat safe from threats from other wildlife, car collisions, and other dangers.

8. Switch to shade-grown coffee. Each cup of shade-grown coffee preserves roughly two square feet of rainforest, critically important habitat for a huge number of migratory birds as well as endemic species.

9. Become a citizen scientist. Your observations help scientists understand a changing world. Track your work on eBird.org. Every sighting matters - contribute yours! eBird tallies your sightings and archives your photos and sounds—all for free.

10. Join the Duval Audubon Society. Our mission is to connect people with nature through the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife in Duval, Clay, and Nassau Counties. Our primary focus is on the preservation of a diversity of species and habitats, through education, conservation, environmental leadership and community involvement. We offer a variety of field trips, programs and volunteer opportunities that are open for anyone to attend. Join online at duvalaudubon.org.