By Lina Younes
While enjoying the fall foliage on a recent walk with my dogs, I noticed that the birds seemed to be chirping more than usual. Perhaps they were saying goodbye to their friends, who were starting their trek to warmer settings.
Since not all birds are migratory in nature, how can we help those species that remain in northern areas, even during the winter? Personally, I’ve always debated whether it’s better to allow them to find their own food or have bird feeders. I’m concerned that, by providing bird feeders, we might be making birds more dependent on humans and interfere with their feeding habits. Either way, greenscaping is a great way to create a natural environment that’s friendly to many animals, including birds, butterflies, and bees.
Here are some tips to help you create this welcoming environment in your own backyard.
- Plant native trees, bushes and plants, especially ones with berries, fruits and flowers.
When planting your garden, plan in advance.
- Plant shrubs and trees that will blossom at different times throughout the year so our feathered friends and wildlife will always have food available.
- Check with your local cooperative extension office or environmental authorities to identify plants that will attract birds and wildlife in your area.
- Consider composting at home to enrich your soil without using chemicals that may be harmful to birds and wildlife.
Have you seen any interesting birds in your area this fall? Have you taken steps to greenscape your yard? As always, we love to hear from you.
About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.