Cultivating Connectivity Through Plants for Birds
Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Chapter Chatter Newsletter August 2021
Northern Mockingbird
Strengthening Our Roots
Thankfully, reports of the songbird illness have waned in recent weeks and state agencies have begun to lift restrictions and update their guidance (see the most current Audubon update here). However, the questions we’ve all been fielding from avid bird feeders have brought to the forefront a need for more education on the value of native plants in supporting bird populations and being better stewards of the world we share.

With Audubon’s support of recommendations to remove feeders in recent months, many people asked us through email and social channels if birds would have enough to eat without this food. If you were answering the same questions, this might be an ideal moment to spotlight native plants as long-term, sustainable support systems for the birds we all love so dearly.

Audubon’s Plants for Birds and Bird-Friendly Habitat recognition programs are largely customizable for your chapter based on the types of events you do, the kinds of communications you send, and the capacity constraints within which we all work. Read on for stories that highlight a new engagement effort in Maryland and tips, tools, and resources for promoting autumn plantings. 

 Find more resources here.
Northern Mockingbird. Photo: Jess Deitz/Audubon Photography Awards
Before & After
Wildlife Habitat Advisors Take Flight with Prince Georges Audubon Society
If you love birds, build habitat. It’s a simple enough sentiment. But, in our corner of the world, we often provide too little sustenance and shelter for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.  Which provides an opportunity for engagement that Prince Georges Audubon Society (PGAS) has taken to heart. In collaboration with Patterson Park Audubon Center in Baltimore, PGAS has developed an exciting, new venture—the Audubon Wildlife Habitat Program.

The program builds on Plants for Birds, one of two Audubon programs under the Bird-Friendly Communities umbrella. Plants for Birds urges people to opt for native plants in their gardens, on their balconies, and anywhere else they can find space for a little green. Plants for Birds offers online resources, a native plant database, and recognition programs complete with a celebratory yard sign. The Audubon Wildlife Habitat Program builds on that by offering on-site, in-person consultations.

The beauty of this approach lies in connection. The sheer amount of information on wildlife gardening in general can be dizzying. The Audubon Wildlife Habitat Program pairs participants with a trained Habitat Advisor who is ready to help prioritize and problem-solve right on site, making the process practical and personal.  

A typical visit includes a walk-through of the property, focusing first on the participant’s aspirations and questions.  With individual goals and concerns as the focus, advisors discuss native plant options, as well as lawn reduction, invasive plant removal, garden structure, and water conservation. They offer ways to reduce threats from outdoor cats and window collisions, while sharing ideas to increase available water, food, and shelter resources.  Together, they identify a set of priorities and create a plan for moving forward. A follow-up report provides a touchpoint for reconnecting and advisors make themselves available for further assistance as needed, acknowledging that this kind of transformation takes time. 

This spring, ten habitat advisors attended the first training, and visited a grand total of 59 private and 2 public properties. PGAS and Patterson Park Audubon Center are excited to launch a second training series for about two dozen new volunteers in August and September in preparation for fall visits. 

For more information on the Audubon Wildlife Habitat Program, contact Kathy Shollenberger of PGAS.
Courtesy of Kathy Shollenberger/Prince Georges Audubon Society
House Finch
Nature's Best-Kept Planting Secret: Autumn!
With autumn just a few weeks away, now is a great time to talk to your members about fall gardening. The cooler days of autumn are ideal for planting and give young plants and trees some stress-free time to settle in and focus on strengthening their roots in preparation for springtime growth. 

Check out the map below to see the distribution of brand new 2021 Bird-Friendly Habitat recognition program registrations across PA, MD, and DC. There are over 150 new registrations...just over the course of this year. Imagine the possibilities for your chapter!

Need more information on how to share the Bird-Friendly Habitat recognition program with your members? 

In Pennsylvania? Click here.

In Maryland/DC? Click here.

House Finch. Photo: Jeff O'Keeffe/Audubon Photography Awards
2021 Bird-Friendly Habitat Registrations
2021 Bird-Friendly Habitat Registrations in Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Our Quarterly Chapter Leadership Call is coming up on September 7th. Click here to register!
Audubon Mid-Atlantic
3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121
(610) 990-3431 |

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