Bird-Friendly Communities

Plants For Birds

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

Why landscape with native plants?  Because plants from faraway places can’t sustain South Carolina birds. 

Our birds are adapted to our insects.  Our insects are adapted to our plants.  A native oak hosts more than 500 species of caterpillars.  If you planted an exotic ginko instead, that number would drop to four.

And caterpillars matter.  Many birds rely on protein-rich insects to survive.  One clutch of chickadees, for example, gobbles down 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars before they leave the nest. 

Today, cities and suburbs cover 10 to 15 percent of our state – and they’re growing.  In these areas, more than 80 percent of plants are currently exotic species.  

So what if homeowners, developers, and landscapers throughout South Carolina decided to “go native”?  A statewide shift to landscaping with native plants 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.