Derek Stoner, Project Coordinator for the Delaware Nature Society, helped restore the 860-acre Middle Run Natural Area by “intensive habitat management”, including planting 12,000 trees and shrubs. His lecture, ‘Native Plants for Nesting Birds: Connecting Flora and Fauna’, given to a group of enthusiasts at the Millersville Native Plant Conference in Pennsylvania, focused on his observations.
Here are Derek’s landscaping recommendations for attracting birds:
- Plant shrubs in clusters (“habitat circles”) that will create the dense cover that birds desire for nest protection.
- Locate clusters of bird-favored plants close to existing patches of habitat to allow for easier travel by birds.
- Plant taller shrub species in close proximity to low-growing bushes to create a layered effect that will host multiple bird species.
- Encourage “suckering” or basal shoots, as these tightly packed stems create ideal nesting pockets for birds.
- Dense clusters of stems are best for many birds to nest within, but some species need a more open branch structure to build their nests upon.