Twice per year, millions of migrating birds hop on the Atlantic Flyway, a major migration route extending from eastern Canada to the southern tip of South America, and cruise north or south. And just like travelers on I-95, birds following this route need to refuel, rest and recharge for the long journey ahead. Sadly, the typical urban area does not always provide plentiful sources for food, water and lodging. Because urban Miami-Dade County is a strategically sited “rest stop,” and largely considered “built out,” area residents can help create hospitable solutions that are good for both birds and people.
Here’s what you can do:
- Birds need food.
Solutions: Plant bird-friendly native plants or provide appropriate feeders.
- Birds need fresh water.
Solutions: In the absence of a natural source like a lake, pond or canal, place a birdbath in a quiet area of your yard, and refresh it daily. Or add a mister to your garden (strategically placed for orchids or other air plants) and be delighted by the birds it alone will attract.
- Birds need cover.
Solutions: Plant trees or hedges for shelter or nesting. Dead trees left standing will be used by nesting by woodpeckers and then re-used by a number of cavity-nesting birds. Properly placed nest boxes also provide nesting sites.
Tropical Audubon Society helps address these issues by:
- Providing information to individuals and institutions on the best native trees to plant.
- Holding Native Plant Sales.
- Meeting with representatives of local governments and institutions to encourage them to consider planting and promoting Bird-Friendly Plants.