"It's simple: By gardening with native plants, no matter where you live or how small or large your space is, you can help sustain wildlife." - Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home
Your yard -- and the kinds of plants in it -- matters more than you may know. Native plants play a very important role in providing the food birds need to survive and thrive in a way that non-native plants cannot do.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in an area. Our native wildlife - including birds - have adapted to the resources provided by Arkansas's native plant population. These plants are, in a real sense, home for our birds.
The current population of native plants is becoming displaced by non-native, exotic and often vigorously growing species. These invasive exotic plants encroach on natural habitats and do not provide the nutrients many birds need to survive.
Why are native plants important?
In a word: insects... Almost all landbirds require insects to feed their young. Even hummingbirds and seed-eating birds must feed their babies insects to ensure their survival. Native insects are adapted to eating native plants. Fewer native plants means fewer insects, which in turn means fewer baby birds growing to adulthood.
Where to find native plants?
National Audubon's Plants for Birds database provides resources based on your zip code. The Arkansas Native Plant Society provides a list of growers, as well as other resources. Pine Ridge Garden's catalog describes the benefits of most of the plants they sell.
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