By Kathy Sweezey, Bird-Friendly Communities Program Manager
Do you want to put your love of birds into action? Whether you have a large yard, school grounds, paved balcony, or no outdoor space at all, you can support birds by joining the Bird-Friendly Spaces Program. This program recognizes individuals who are taking actions to support birds and other wildlife in their personal spaces.
Bird-Friendly Spaces is a FREE program that we encourage everyone to apply to! You only need to complete 3 actions in 2 separate categories (Create Inviting Habitat, Connect With Others, and Limit Threats to Birds) to be accepted into the program, but we encourage you to try to take as many bird-friendly actions as you can! After you’re approved, you will receive stickers for each action you achieve, discount coupons, monthly newsletters, and more. Signs are available for purchase separately to share your Bird-Friendly Space status with your friends and neighbors! Bird-Friendly Spaces is a great way to learn about new ways that you can support birds!
We asked participants to share why they decided to apply for a Bird-Friendly Space:
I love the earth and all the creatures that inhabit it! I’m particularly fascinated by the diversity of birds and their habits and wanted to create a space for them as well as for my family to observe them!Elizabeth dismuke
My love for Native plants and wildlife gave me the final push I needed to enter the bird world. Learning about plants and birds and then birds and bird-friendly spaces gave me the tools I needed to make the finishing touches like adding water and bird-friendly window decals.Adam Johnson
Observing and identifying birds is a growing interest of mine. After moving from the highly tree shaded yard in League City where I regularly spotted barred owls and even bald eagles, I’ve been eager to learn more about the birds we can spot and hear in our urban space. There is such a huge variety of resident and migrating birds in our neighborhood and I would like for them to have a spot of respite in their travels, as well as a source of bird education for our neighbors.Melissa kyle
We didn’t realize how much we were missing out on all these years in our own backyards. We are in awe of what we see and the amazing birds that visit us.jordan garcia
We are really much enjoying bird watching as a family. I have 2 daughters that developed a passion for bird identification. We visited the Houston Audubon and bought some birdwatching guides. Also, we have became members of the Texas Ornithology Society, and hoping to join other bird spaces. After installing the bird feeders we started seeing new species we haven’t noticed before, like the titmouse.marisa erkekdjian
I wanted to see if I could attract birds to my balcony despite being in an urban setting. I see birds at my apartment complex so I want them to know that my balcony can be a safe space for them to visit.zoe gapayao
Birds are part of a balanced ecosystem. The birds help me out by eating bugs and by providing their song. They are enjoyable to watch and they need our support as more of their habitats are encroached upon by people.samiha qureshi
My parents had birdfeeders when we were growing up. I have always been in love with the fact that our yards are spaces for birds and wildlife while we live within the walls of houses. We’ve had bird feeders up since we moved into the house. When I moved to Texas I fell in love with the wildflowers and have been inspired by neighbors who are growing native gardens. The plants inspire learning more about the insects and pollinators too (and respecting the full food web).karen yip
I’m a bird and nature lover. And especially since COVID, I spend most of my free time in my backyard tending to vegetables, birds and butterflies. It all brings me such joy.julie gold
Our students were challenged with the question “How can we create local resilience by transforming our campuses to support one health and well-being for ourselves, other living communities, and the natural environment?”. They learned about the importance of native ecosystems, the link between people and ecosystems, and the role that connection to nature can play in both physical and mental well-being. They were inspired to take on projects within two central themes: rewilding the campus to provide habitat for native plants and animals, and engaging the campus community in mindful activities in the outdoor space. This year, the group has learned from guest speakers, planned events, contributed to citizen science, transformed the landscape, provided food and water sources for birds and pollinator insects, and taken steps to reduce the impact of the built environment on nature. Eventually, these projects were all focused through the lens of the Houston Audubon Society’s bird-friendly spaces initiative, and the culmination of their activities is the official designation as a bird-friendly space.robin nagy
I love birds and I love to support a healthy ecosystem. As it is we do enough destruction of habitat, so the minimum we can do is try to use our personal space to help insects and birds and other wildlife.ilya martinalbo
Who needs a gym when you’ve got a yard, right? I like to get out there and create settings that welcome wildlife and that make my neighborhood prettier. The front feeders are right outside my studio windows where I work each day and I get to see the young cardinals up close. The backyard feeders get a lot of action and a flit of movement in the corner of my eye reminds me to connect to the outdoors world. I get a kick out of seeing the birds eat from the feeders I made out of thrift shop baking pans and Mardi Gras beads!lee steiner