The world's largest bird sanctuary is no further away than our back yards.
Photo: Mitch Robinson
Why are Native Plants Better for Birds and People?
Native birds need native plants and the insects that have co-evolved with them. Most landscaping plants available in nurseries are exotic species from other countries. Many are prized for qualities that make them poor food sources for native birds—like having leaves that are unpalatable to native insects and caterpillars. With 96 percent of all terrestrial bird species in North America feeding insects to their young, planting insect-proof exotic plants is like serving up plastic food. No insects? No birds. Simply put, native plants:
· Are the foundation of our natural food chain and the key for attracting and supporting birds, butterflies/pollinators and other wildlife
· Are adapted to our regional conditions and may require less maintenance and water, rarely needing the use of pesticides and fertilizers
· Promote biodiversity, helping strengthen and support local ecosystems
Strawberry Plains Audubon Center recently has partnered with the Army Corp of Engineers and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks to enhance biodiversity and encourage awareness of native habitat at the State Waterfowl Wildlife Management Area on Sardis Lake, out side of Oxford, MS.