Download our new Birdscaping Guide


How to Create Habitat for Birds in our Yards & Gardens

Native Plants vs. Non-Native Ornamentals

Most ornamental plants are selected for human use and aesthetics, often at the expense of non-human species’ ability to use them as food: Our seemingly lush lawns and colourful gardens are inhospitable for most native bird species. In contrast, native plants have co-evolved alongside our native birds and provide year-round food by hosting insects and producing the right berries, seeds, shoots, and flowers at the right time of year. Choosing native plants for our urban yards and gardens increases availability of seasonally-appropriate food that birds need to survive and thrive.

Birds Need Bugs
Most bird species (even the seed-eaters at your feeder) need high-calorie insect protein during the crucial months of egg-laying and chick-rearing. Insects that we consider pests, like caterpillars and spiders, are essential to the diet of many young birds and their hard-working parents. Habitat loss and pesticide/insecticide use has drastically reduced insect biodiversity in our city, creating a huge shortfall in protein sources for birds. Growing native plants that host native insects during all stages of their life cycle (egg, larva, adult) will help feed the next generation of Vancouver birds.

Every Yard Counts
If we all choose to plant even a handful of native plants instead of non-native species in our gardens, we can radically impact our city’s ability to support a more biodiverse urban ecosystem. Our backyards, balconies, schoolyards, and community gardens can help to create crucial habitat corridors between city parks and larger green spaces, and provide insects, berries, seeds, nesting sites, shelter, and a welcoming home for both resident and migratory native bird species.

Download our new Birdscaping Guide

EYA has recently published a new Guide to Birdscaping to help Vancouver residents learn how to create habitat for birds in your yard, garden, or balcony using native plants. Click HERE to download the free Guide.

Participate in our Spring Plant Give-Aways
We’re working to adapt our annual Spring Plant Give-Away Events to comply with physical distancing orders in response to COVID-19. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on how to pick up native plants for your bird habitat garden and a beautiful printed copy of the Birdscaping Guide.