Native Plants for Birds

Native Plants for Birds

The best way to bring birds into your yard is with native plants and a water source.

We are promoting the installation of Colorado native plants in yards, parks, and other private and public properties to increase bird habitat in the Denver metro area.

Native plants provide everything birds need to survive – shelter, food, space. Having a variety of Colorado native plant species ensures you have food for a diversity of bird types – from seed, to insects, to nectar and berries.


Gardens for the Birds

Gardens for the Birds on Saturday, June 26, 2021, 8am-12:30pm This first ever garden tour of the Audubon Center Public Demonstration Gardens highlights our five wildscaped gardens created with birds in mind. No need to travel far to see five different gardens that are for the birds! Missed the tour? That's okay. The Audubon Nature

Use Native Plants to Attract Birds…

Use Native Plants to Attract Birds to Your Yard The best way to bring birds into your yard is with native plants and a water source. This provides everything birds need to survive – shelter, food, water, space. Having a variety of Colorado native plant species ensures you have food for a diversity of bird

What It Takes to Win Gold (Native Plant Certifications, That Is)

What It Takes to Win Gold (Native Plant Certifications, That Is) By Kate Hogan, Community Outreach Coordinator In 2014, when I began working at Denver Audubon,  I had no previous experience certifying native plant gardens. As a first-time home buyer in Parker, I inherited the typical suburban yard with a postage stamp lawn, a lot


Bring birds to your home today by growing native plants. Landscaping with Colorado native plants along the Rocky Mountain front range restores bird habitat lost through human development in our urban and residential areas.

Growing bird-friendly plants will attract and protect the birds you love while making your space beautiful, easier to care for, and better for the environment. We can create a huge change in the bird landscape one yard at a time.


Prairie Zinnia in bloom

The following resources help you find Colorado native plants that do well in Denver area landscapes.

Where to purchase Colorado native plants in the Denver Metro area?

When shopping for Colorado native plants, always use the scientific name. Common names vary from region to region and nursery to nursery and are sometimes used for non-native plants of a different species. Example: the North American Linum lewisii could be called Lewis flax, blue flax, or prairie flax, and there is a similar European species that is also called blue flax or prairie flax. Choose the Colorado native! The birds and insects they eat will thank you!

See Where to Find Colorado Native Plants for a list of nurseries, garden centers, landscape designers, and landscape/lawn maintenance companies that provide plants and services that support Colorado birds and wildlife.

What Is Nature’s Best Hope?

It’s you! It’s also a book by Doug Tallamy who is promoting bird conservation by creating a “Home-grown National Park” on your privately owned land. Learn more by watching Wild Ones Presents Nature’s Best Hope by Dr. Doug Tallamy (1 hour video) on the ecological relationships between native plants and insects, and how you can convert your yard.

Certify Your Bird-Friendly Native Plant Property

Once you’ve converted your property into a bird-friendly native plant habitat, there are several certification programs you can participate in. Share your success with neighbors and passers-by with signage in your yard and by promoting native plants with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone you meet.




Make your windows – especially large picture windows – bird-safe to help your birds. Use special patterns with tape or paint, install screens and cords, or apply UV film to the exterior of the window to prevent birds from seeing the reflection of your native landscape and flying into the glass.

Cat looking out window


The presence of cats discourages birds from spending time in a yard. Cats hunt and kill up to 2.4 billion birds in the US every year. Humane societies and veterinarians recommend keeping pet cats indoors to prevent disease and injury.

Visit American Bird Conservancy’s page on Solutions for Pet Cats to learn more.



Pesticides reduce the number of insects that birds need to survive. Most songbirds feed their young insects like butterfly caterpillars and spiders. Pesticides can harm birds directly through contact or if they eat contaminated seeds, berries, or prey. Some weed killers can also be toxic to wildlife.

Visit American Bird Conservancy’s page on pesticides to learn more.

3 bushtits at feeders

Bird Feeders

Native plants provide everything birds need, but if you install feeders, buy several types and place them at varying levels with some distance in between. Clean your feeders monthly and do not install feeders where bears might visit. Feeders also attract other wildlife that may become a nuisance.

Visit National Audubon Society’s page on Feeders to learn more.