It’s not too difficult to find an impassioned vocal advocate for the conservation of bird habitats, but like the trees the birds themselves live in, that voice is mostly bark and little bite on its own. Talking up a good game about preserving the natural environment for these spectacular flying creatures is certainly a step in the right direction, but acting on those words is critical if the actual habitat is to be maintained. For those who want to engage the issue directly, and attempt to make crucial change, starting in their own backyards can be helpful.
Many homeowners in the United States are responsible for the land their house is on, and this land often contains an assortment of wildlife, from trees and bushes to worms and bugs. Trees in particular, because of their long, sturdy branches and commonplace leaf coverage, make for nesting grounds and roosting places for many bird species. Inhabiting a variety of trees, birds from Blue Jays to Cardinals can still find safety in yards that have been preserved as much as possible, even if some of the original habitat has been lost. Though not ideal, a backyard that’s still filled with trees and other wildlife enables a functioning symbiosis between people and birds still allows many species to thrive. This is something that would be impossible with a greater emphasis on woods clearing and brush removal that has become so popular in modern home landscaping.
Choosing not to cut off overgrown branches or remove trees all-together in order to allow more sunlight to hit a house can be a critical advantage to otherwise declining bird populations. Landscaping that goes into overdrive, where limits are not observed and unnecessary amounts of natural habitat for these birds are destroyed for benefits as small as attracting more sunlight or a attaining a “neater” yard appearance, may seem acceptable on the surface. After all, how many birds are really affected by one homeowner making these changes on one yard? The problem that always arises, however, is that the aforementioned individual choice is not in fact individual at all.
These kinds of actions take place on properties across the country (and around the world) every day, resulting in massive losses of bird habitat over the days, months, and decades this has been happening. In order for the preservation of the natural world, and more specifically, of bird habitat to take hold, the actions of property owners from all walks of life must change. Keeping that large old tree in the yard may not give a house the summer sunlight desired, but such a small sacrifice can provide homes to dozens of birds over decades to come. So starting in one’s own backyard is already doing more to save birds than just speaking about preserving bird habitat.