Are you getting ready to plan or plant your garden? If so, Plants for Birds is for you!

It’s a native-plant database (plants that evolved in local landscapes) cross-referenced with the birds that enjoy those plants. Knowing which birds pass through your location along with what kinds of food and shelter they’ll enjoy, it’s a great research tool for making decisions to help wild birds.

For Americans, it’s even better – it’s integrated with local nurseries where you can buy the plants! This aspect won’t apply to Canadian gardeners, as we wouldn’t be able to shop and bring plants back across the border. However, we share some of the same Zones as the northern states (for example, Montreal is in Zone 5). Only distance and our immediate habitat type (for instance, dry and open vs. wet and forested) might differ, so it’s relatively safe to assume we can benefit from this cross-referencing.

How to use Plants for Birds if you’re in Canada:

You have to enter your email address and a US zip code. Montreal is closest to Champlain, NY, so I looked it up at 12919.

Entering your details gives you direct access to the database, no need for a subscription confirmation.

Armed with plant ideas and information (from all the pretty pictures!), we can then enquire at local nurseries, plan, and plant.

TL;DR version: What’s one thing you can do today to help birds? Grow bird-friendly plants!

The Audubon Society’s website called Plants for Birds helps American gardeners find plants in their area that will encourage birds to visit and stay awhile. Canadians can fake it by choosing the nearest zip code. Check your gardening zone and make sure the plant is hardy enough for Canada’s slightly cooler climes.

male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Source: Audubon
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler. Source: Audubon
female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Source: Audubon

Consider adding a water feature, too.

While we are talking about making gardens more welcoming to our friendly feathered friends, one of the best things you can do is install a water feature. A birdbath or a pond will always attract wildlife and insect pollinators (as well as mosquitos, if it’s standing water – so clean out the bird bath regularly). Here’s how you can make a simple bird bath, from the folks at Audubon:

How to Make a Birdbath