“All gardening is hopeful. It’s even more hopeful to plant a bush that, come fall, will be loaded with berries that help birds along their epic migration journeys. It’s hopeful to plant a native honeysuckle vine that will have flowers ready to welcome the first hummingbird to return to your yard after a long winter. It’s hopeful to plant an oak tree that will offer up enough food to feed all the baby chickadees in your yard year after year, decade after decade. These acts of hope add up to abundant, prosperous bird life in our cities and towns across North Carolina.” –Kim Brand, Audubon N.C.
Audubon field organizer Kim Brand knows that despite her lovely notion of hope (quoted above), “planting for birds is easier said than done.” She says that’s largely because of a lack of information. That’s why the National Audubon Society has developed an ingenious, user-friendly online database. Punch in your zip code and email address, and it shows you hundreds of native plants for your region that do the trick. You can learn about each plant, choose your favorites, and then receive an emailed list of garden centers near you selling the plants you’ve picked, plus growing tips. “This makes it easy for anyone to help birds in a meaningful way.” –J.A.