• Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm in central west coast Florida. Lots of invasive Brazilian Pepper plants to control but the birds love them for cover. My birds favorite tree is my Lacebark Elm.  I have suet and many orchids hanging there.  Several seed feeders in the yard as well as bird baths, blue bird houses, and a bubbling goldfish pond. In this area of Florida you have to buy tons of dirt and create raised gardens. This is very laborious and hot work.  I have several with many species of plants including native species.  All of which were planted with birds and butterflies in mind.  I have had 13 species of birds nesting in my yard in a season.  I have frequent visitors that return every year to nest. My flycatchers, hummingbirds, and yellow throated warbler are my favorite but I enjoy all of them - almost - could do without Mr. Blue Jay. Being in central Florida I'm surprised every year that some of my birds leave and migrate south maybe only 150 miles to Venice or Naples.  I'm trying to get Painted Buntings to visit my yard during migration. I did get a female Indigo Bunting this fall at the feeder.  Happy Gardening.
      • Lisa
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I live on the west central coast of Florida and had my first painted bunting stop by in the yard this past December. I was so excited!!!
    • Katalin
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have a lot of space and I have trees off to the back area. I sure like to do more with some of these spaces but the soil is so sandy and it seems to be impossible to work with.
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I have had bird feeders out for the birds for years.  There are out there all year, and I give them suet also, especially in the winter.  I have one acre of land, with mostly trees all over it.  There are lots of hardwoods like maple and oak, and pine and fir trees also.  I have recently become a Virginia Master Naturalist, and my project is native bees.  So I have been building mason and leafcutter bee boxes, and planting native pollinator plants to provide food and shelter for them.  This is all new, and I am learning as I go along.  I have noticed more bees and butterflies in my yard as I work at this, as well as the birds.  Most of the birds I see here are mockingbirds, mourning doves, bluebirds, blue jays, cardinals, blackbirds, and hummingbirds.  I hope as I plant more flowering trees, I will get more variety of birds to see.  I put out corn and have five or six deer who come through in the evenings.  I am enjoying my yard and will continue to make it a haven for wildlife.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IMG_1719I have gardened for many years, but recently started focusing on native plants that benefit birds and butterflies. We are lucky to live in a wooded area containing many large Oak treesIMG_760869F72482-B64B-4CCB-AA00-D84A7AECB672_1_201_a
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Wow! Beautiful
    • I will be moving and plan to create a butterfly and bird friendly garden.  Last year, I obtained seeds of native flowers as first step.  I heard about a brush pile and hope to create one eventually (the place I am trying to buy does not have mature trees).  I am not a gardener but am motivated to convert a grassy backyard into a less water-requiring and healthier area.
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        I am going to plant white clover in my grassy areas.  I have been told they need little water, but stay green.
    • mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Starting with a clean slate  back yard after sewer replacement   IMG_2293
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I became a master gardener in 2017, and that's when I really became aware of the beauty and value of native plants. I have changed my gardening focus: I now garden for wildlife with beauty as an added bonus. I'm working on planting natives and eliminating more and more of my lawn. The biggest challenge I have is combating invasives, especially since I am in a suburban environment and a at least 1/2 of my 1.28 acres is left wild. I have lots of different birds at my feeders in winter, and in the shrubs and trees in summer. I want to plant more perennial natives to attract greater numbers of birds to the insects and seed they provide. I find it all overwhelming at times, and would like to establish goals and a way of implementing them to feel like I have more control over what I'm doing.
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Sounds wonderful!  I have a pollinator garden that is somewhat manicured, but a patch by the road is just growing whatever wants to grow from the wildflower seeds I throw out there.  I wanted areas that I let grow wild on their own.  The other part I can work on and not get stressed.  It sounds like you are doing a great job, so try to relax and enjoy what has been done.  I’m still learning what plants are what and I get the ones I like.  I am a Virginia Master Naturalist and plan to become a master gardener next year.  Learning is so much fun!!!
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Back yard already planted with many native and bird/butterfly friendly plants.   Front yard is large open grass - have thought often about converting some of it to plants/flowers/trees but kind of overwhelmed by the thought.  Also, regret that I didn't do when we moved here 19 years ago!  Then there are the deer!  Back yard is fenced but front yard isn't and local deer population treat it like a buffet!  They eat things in my yard that I see in other people's yard untouched!  Afraid the word is out that this is the place to eat!  I have planted many deer-resistant plants, only to have them eaten by deer over the years.  I also use Liquid Fence on some of the plants/flowers, but even that this year did not stop them from eating the Hosta, Sedum and Black-eyed Susans!  I have some things planted right in front of house and along both sides, but large open grass lawn from house to road.  Afraid I have procrastinated over the years and done nothing with it. 2023 Aug - House-flowers
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        I think it looks great!  If the deer are really bothering you, I’ve been told you can have your yard sprayed with (sounds gross, I know!) coyote urine smell and other smells the deer do not like.  Or you can make your own spray with mint and water and I think deer aren’t supposed to like that either.  Worth a try!
    • Rosemary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I tick all the boxes.  I have a garden for the  birds, I pro vide food, shelter and water year round.  Not a square foot of grass, the garden is filled with trees, shrubs and plants and I get birds year round.  I don' t think I will see anything that is not usual in southern Ontario, unless they are just passing through.
    • Benjamin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Where I am living at now there are plenty of birds that fly overhead to wetland areas or to the woods nearby, which is great to see and have access to. Although, being able to create a space for them in the gardens around my house, would not only provide a great benefit to them as nesting habitat or for food, but to me, who wants to see them and appreciate their being! DSC_20
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        What a beautiful shot of this bird!  Is that a nuthatch?
    • Penelope
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      The Chipping Sparrow is perhaps my most frequent visitor. Whether skipping about my various DIY feeders, or in the undergrowth beneath pine trees, it always seems to be there.  Considering the fact that I don't quite have a garden, I would like to discover a space where I can safely transform with plants that won't intrude on anything. ThebestChipster
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      A the start of the Pandemic we made a lot of changes to our back yard.  The biggest one was that we ripped out an area that was overgrown with non-native invasive plants.  We put in elderberry plants in place of winter honey suckle and some other things.  Also made a bed of native flowering plants.  Some of those did better than others.  The elderberry attracts a lot of robins when the berries form.  They strip off the berries.  I'd like to have more variety in the yard as far as the birds go.  I have an American Beautyberry in the yard but the birds don't seem interested in it.  We have some flowering plants that the hummingbirds like and that's good.  I'm in the piedmont region in North Carolina.
      • Ember
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I have 6 garden beds: 2 front 2 back 1 each side. North is mostly a native shade bed, East are 2 front gardens, 1 is red natives and perennials, the other is purple natives and perennials. South is an echinacea bed. West is 2 beds, both are mixed perennials. I have many native shrubs and a kousa dogwood, amelanchier, two quercus prinoides chinquapin, and a yellow buckeye, and mulberry, and Stella cherry. I enjoy it all. what bugs me is my lawn. On my ‘24 season to do list is to eliminate the front lawn on 1 side, then the second side next year. I live in an urban area so birds are starlings, English sparrows, pigeons, mourning doves, juncos, catbirds, cardinals, song sparrow, white throated sparrow, Carolina wren, and last season a successful bluebird couple that fledged 4. They are here again, I hope they stay and nest.  
    • Larry
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Corn We built a back yard  from scratch with native plants, for the purpose of bird photography and human use. We started in May 2021 and already it has brought us a lifetime of enjoyment. Here in a St. Paul, MN suburb we have a lot of migrating species. I've recorded 65 species in the back yard and another 20 flying over or swimming next door. I believe the project has taken 15 years off my life, from retirement age to being a kid again. Well, that isn't 15 years, but you know what I mean.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      One of the things that has happened to us multiple times is the interplay of both the songbirds and the predators.  While it is horrifying to see a Cooper's Hawk hunt down a House Sparrow, it was also fascinating to see how both predator and non-predator interacted.  There wasn't just one House Sparrow here, but about half dozen, and all of the trees in front and back of our house erupted with warning calls. We got to watch this magnificent raptor display its finesse.  We also learned just how valuable bushes with closely bound branches really are because they provided shelter for those that did not become lunch.  We love watching all of the birds--the Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse with their hit-and-run feeding tactic versus the House Finches who hang out in huge gangs and talk constantly. We've even watched House Finch fledges madly flapping their wings to be fed by mom and dad as they teach these newbies how to feed at the feeder. Being parents of human kids ourselves we feel for these stressed-out parents as they try to meet the incessant demands of their offspring.  What made all of this interaction possible was changing our invasive grassy plain yard into various native species pollinator gardens. We went from see only a few birds if any to an avian menagerie. IMG_20201206_074752137
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I retired from teaching in June 2023, and now I have time to pursue these latent interests. We live on 38 acres of mostly wooded, hilly land, and I am excited to intentionally plant a native garden with a water feature. The Merlin bird ID app has helped me identify SO MANY bird species as I walk the trails.
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live in Southeast Florida. I started gardening at my first house to prevent erosion of my yard into the canal (freshwater).  I planted native aquatic plants. My neighbors were very impressed that I gained land in the yard, so I gave them some of the plants that I thinned out to grow on their property. After a few years, we had lots of fish and even otters. I am in a different house now with no water views, so I decided to plant butterflies.  Several different types of shrubs and small trees, lots of flowering plants, and different types of larvae plants. After 23 years in this house,  I have attracted many butterflies and birds.  Some are year-round and some are seasonal. So I also start to include bird feeders. The Painted Buntings visit me each year for the last 12 years, arriving the first week of October and leaving the first week of May.  I have learned a lot mainly from trial and error! Monarch in yard picture20230317_144113_resized20221002_163618_resized
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I started photographing and using inaturalist to identify the birds passing through my urban yard in downtown Toronto in late 2018. At the time I had a small grass lawn and borders.  Since 2018 I've replaced the lawn (starting with clover and wildflower mixes) and have allowed the yard to rewild (with some light editing). I've been planting berry bearing plants and hardy flowers but have only recently begun to focus on native plants. We are lucky enough to live in a neighbourhood that has a number of mature trees and I have a range of bird feeders and a heated bird bath. Over the past 5 years I've photographed about 80 different species of bird in that small urban space and 50 other creatures (mostly bees and butterflies). A revelation. When I started I didn't know we had anything other than house sparrows and cardinals. I'm here to improve my knowledge so that I can move towards native plants and remove invasives, as well as to think about how to make this kind of urban space work better for the long term for both the humans and the wildlife.
    • I have a tiny balcony, so it is hard to garden for birds. I do have a few plants that are mainly enjoyed by hummingbirds when the plants are in bloom, but I dream of having a bigger space to plant more for all birds and wildlife to enjoy. I also dream of having a garden space that doesn't have a roof as some species seem to be nervous about roves. However, I do have a view of a protected natural space filled with native plants and trees that allows me to see a wider variety of birds. This natural space has been a great inspiration for my future garden ideas as I watch birds enjoy their favorite plants.
    • Anita
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      I currently have over ten very mature trees around my property, including Birch and Oaks.  However, because of this there is little sunlight in the backyard, so I'm working to turn an area next to the house in the front yard into a garden full of perennials, vines, and smaller shrubs to support not only birds but also pollinators.  I have several bird feeders right now that bring in Northern Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, White and Red-breasted Nuthatch, Woodpeckers, and both Chipping and White-throated Sparrows.  Eventually I'm wanting to completely eliminate my bird feeders and instead provide them with "real" food in the form of native plants and insects.  I just created a large brush pile too, so hopefully that will provide some habitat for various species.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I recently was able to purchase the home as I was renting and am excited to be able to invest time, money, and energy into developing out door spaces that welcome birds and a variety of insect pollinators. I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are woods on the edge of my property, but also have the challenge of a a large deer population.  I also hope to reduce, if not eventually fully eliminate areas that need regular mowing. I have two bird feeders on my property that attract an array of species typical to Upstate NY including cardinals, American gold finch, chickadees, several species of woodpeckers, rose breasted grosbeaks, and white throated sparrows, to name a few.
    • Ival
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We used to have a woods behind us that provided everything for our birds.  We merely supplemented with our feeders.  Now all bulldozed in preparation for 111 houses to be built.  Birds were in shock but do come by form other nearby woods now.
    • Jenn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_1998 my current garden
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        It’s beautiful.  Similar to an English garden.
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Love it
    • Jenn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in a rural, heavily wooded area.  There was no lawn to speak of and over-grown bushes and weeds up to the door.  The first thing I did was to mow it all down and create a lawn and a new perennial garden.  It was what I was used to, growing up in suburbia, and felt like the right thing to do. But ever since doing that, I have regretted it.  While I love my garden and it gives me lots of joy, I wish I had retained some of the wildness here on my wooded lot.  So now my mission is to reclaim a portion of my lot to create a woodland garden with native plants. I’m very excited about this…it’ll be a first for me in my 40+ years of gardening.
      • Hi Jenn! That sounds like a great goal and I hope you have fun making it a reality. I hadn't thought about how the gardens we grow up seeing as kids can have an effect on the gardens we create as adults. This is a concept I will keep in mind as I take the class and I plan my own garden based on what is available in my yard. Thanks!
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        You can do it, get the native garden you want.  There are so many online places to order native plants and seeds.  I never thought about growing up with a certain type of yard that would influence the kind of yard I thought I should have.  I am planting various areas of my yard with native plants slowly so my husband can get used to the idea of having less grass to mow.  I am planting white clover in with my grass (it already has some) because the bees love it and it stays green even when there is little rain in the summer.  It doesn’t need a lot of water.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      We live in a subdivision of 20 acre parcels of shrub steppe in central Washington. Most of the property is bunch grass, sage, rabbit brush, arrow-leaf Balsom root, yarrow, lupine.    and greasewood.  We mostly notice raptors but other seasonal birds, too. Right now the meadowlarks are singing up a storm! And juncos hang out in the winter. Timothy Hay and alfalfa farms are nearby. I enjoy the wildness of our landscape, the sunrises and sunsets, the seasonal changes and most of the cool wildlife (excluding the rattlers). Our outdoor space brings a sense of peace and calm. I saw 18 deer this evening as I walked my dog; that is both a blessing and a challenge. They are beautiful but chew up what I plant in a heartbeat.  A peach tree and cherry tree I planted last fall didn't last a night. What I'd like to change is to integrate new and different native plants to provide support for birds around the year. And, I'd like to incorporate plants that deter the deer, leave a legacy of stewardship of this property and bring delight to the neighborhood with color and beauty. It is dry here and the soil is very compacted and I have a challenge with invasive prostate knotweed, dalmatian toadflax, chamomile and thistle. So, choosing the right plants is important.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We are lucky to have some property in Western PA with a number of native plants growing already.  30 acres partially overgrown pasture, some wetlands and a good bit of woods. This picture is part of the "pasture". We get a lot (too many) deer, some common and some unusual small mammals, a good number of birds including a flock of turkey, geese, catbirds and we always get nests of Robins, carolina wrens, chickadees, mourning doves and others. While I would consider that I have always loved nature and bird watching, until my daughter planted a Monarda outside our Sunroom which attracted hummingbirds I was only marginally aware of specific plants being important for native insects - and even more started learning that numerous plants I thought I was doing something good with are actually invasive. I want to learn to identify invasive plants better and work towards removing them from our property and minimizing the area we keep mowed to what we need to do the outdoor activities we enjoy.  I am sad I did not realize some of this 25 years ago as I could be a lot further along, but I will start where I am and try not to be overwhelmed. pasture