Climate

Plants For Birds

Nectar-slurpers love the bright flowers of this native coral bean. Photo: Will Stuart

Habitat for South Carolina’s birds is shrinking and shifting due to climate change.  Shrinking habitat is an obvious threat.  But even a shift can prove hazardous, introducing birds to new predators and/or eliminating food sources. 

That's why it's so important to landscape with native plants.  Plants indigenous to our region provide just the right smorgasbord of insects, flowers, and berries to boost populations of climate-stressed birds.  In the long run, native plants will also help birds become more resilient to changing weather patterns.

Native plants have more subtle benefits too.  Their deep root systems – really deep compared to grass – restore healthy soils.  Healthy soils not only absorb stormwater, providing protection from floods; they also absorb or "sequester" carbon, which actually slows climate change.

So hey, how about your backyard?  Cities and suburbs now cover 10 to 15 percent of South Carolina, and that number is growing.  In urban and suburban areas, more than 80 percent of plants are currently exotic species.  So if homeowners, developers, and landscapers statewide decided to "go native," we could ensure the survival of literally millions of birds.

So let’s get started . . . yesterday!  Check out the beautiful plants that are native to your area.  Investigate South Carolina’s native nurseries.  And please let us know if there's anything we can do to help you make the switch!

PROJECT CONTACT:  Matt Johnson, mgjohnson@audugon.org.