Did you know Texas is home to more species of birds than any other state? In fact, we host more than half of the 1,100 species in the US. Here in The Woodlands, we’re doubly fortunate: not only are we replete with resources birds depend on – forests, edges, riparian zones, and native plants – we lie at a crossroads of eastern and western habitats mixed with subtropical and temperate ones. From this diverse habitat springs diverse bird life. Best of all for the local avian lover, we sit smack dab in the central flyway where spring and fall migrations amplify an already impressive diversity of species.
You need not invest in a pair of hiking boots or high-powered binoculars to take in the spectacle. In fact, backyards and even apartment balconies offer ample opportunity to invite birds in for your enjoyment and their support.
Start by providing the essentials:
- Native trees and plants – they’re far superior to non-natives for providing sustenance and they require less water and care to thrive. Check out these lists of native plants for The Woodlands.
- Clean feeders – supplementing what your native plants offer is a great idea as long as you provide quality feed and you clean feeders every couple weeks to prevent disease transmission.
- Water sources – birdbaths should be no more than 3 inches deep with sloped sides. Be sure to clean them regularly with soap or a vinegar solution.
- Nesting and shelter options – trees, tall grass, and shrubs provide cover for resting or nesting; supplement with bird houses and roost boxes suited to local species you want to attract.
- Use biocontrol – applying pesticides rids your landscape of an essential food source for most birds (seeds alone aren’t enough). Instead, invite birds in as a natural pest control.
For more tips, visit the National Wildlife Federation’s page on attracting birds.
The best habitats incorporate each of these elements. If you want to make your backyard even more inviting, keep it cat-free. Cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds in the U.S. annually, making cat predation the largest human-caused threat to birds. If you can’t keep your cat indoors at all times, bring them in at dusk and dawn, when birds are more active.
For more resources on native plants for The Woodlands or to learn more about upcoming birding programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org