Project CHIRP!

Gardening for Songbird Conservation

 Image From: Project CHIRP!


  • Evergreens provide shelter for birds throughout the seasons and are particularly important over the winter season when they protect birds from cold temperatures and icy winds.
  • Deciduous trees provide food and shelter for nesting through the spring, summer, and into the fall.
  • Snags (i.e., dead trees) are invaluable to wildlife. More than 85 species of North American birds use cavities in dead or dying trees. Allowing them to stand, provided they pose no danger, will attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, flickers, and many other birds and small mammals that use them for nesting and feed on the insects that inhabit them. If necessary, remove some of the branches and cut the tree back, to 8 to 10 feet tall, to minimize danger.
  • Create a brush pile to shelter birds through the cold winter and provide hiding spots in the summer.
  • A good way to recycle your Christmas tree is to put it out in the backyard for the rest of the winter so birds can use it for shelter.
  • Build and put up nesting boxes to make up for any shortages of shelter.
  • Providing snags and nesting boxes is especially important for native cavity nesters who face increasing pressure from introduced species. Introduced species, such as starlings and house sparrows, push out our less aggressive native species, such as bluebirds and tree sparrows, causing their numbers to decline.