Little things you can do to support migratory birds in your backyard

Illustration of birds on feeders

With the first sign of trees leafing out in spring come the collective calls of birds migrating north. Every spring, around 3.5 billion birds native to North America make the arduous journey back from points south of the United States to breed. You’ll likely see them taking respite in parks, nature sanctuaries, and even your own backyard.

Stopovers are vital for migratory birds. They need to rest and refuel, as they lose a substantial portion of their body fat flying thousands of miles. And that is where you can make a difference.

You can fill feeders with high-calorie snacks like sunflower seeds, or sprinkle these over your lawn. If you’re so inclined, install a birdbath, preferably one with moving water, so they can hydrate and preen. And while birdhouses can be great nesting sites, so can trees with heavy canopies, fallen logs, and brush piles. In fact, the more you let your garden go, the more sheltered spots may crop up for passing birds.

Any of these efforts can help nature’s frequent fliers. And they will repay you by filling your backyard with colorful plumage and birdsong.

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World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

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