Did you know that 96 percent of songbirds rear their young on insects? That one nest of chickadees requires 4,000 caterpillars and insects to fledge their young?
Our national parks and nature preserves are not adequate to support bird and butterfly populations according to Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home. Tallamy estimates that only 3 percent of land in the lower 48 is set aside as parkland and nature preserves. The remaining 97 percent of land is being used for agriculture, residential and commercial development.
Tallamy argues that part of the reason bird and butterfly populations have been declining is because we have been planting ornamental plants in our commercial and residential landscapes instead of native plants.
Tallamy’s simple solution to reverse the decline of bird populations, is to encourage homeowners and business owners to plant locally native vegetation instead of ornamental plants. Even planting a small corner of your garden with locally native plants will help support bird life and butterflies.
Locally native plants support butterfly life because the butterflies evolved to feed from the native vegetation. More butterflies mean more birds.
Try planting native. You will love the results.