Bird lovers and to-be bird lovers, plant some (or a yard full!) of native plants to support your feathered friends. The link between a lack of native plants in gardens and a decline in bird populations has been found. A functioning food cycle depends on the presence of native plants.
"Landowners are using nonnative plants in their yards because they’re pretty and exotic, they’re easy to maintain, and they tend to have fewer pests on them. But it turns out that a lot of those insects they see as pests are actually critical food resources for our breeding birds. For landowners who want to make a difference, our study shows that a simple change they make in their yards can be profoundly helpful for bird conservation.” -Desirée Narango, a graduate student researcher at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.