Enhancing Habitat for Birds

Check out the Bird Habitat Guide to learn how you can enhance bird habitat in your backyard.

 The Piedmont is home to over 140 species of birds that breed in the area, but many of these bird populations have declined in recent decades due to loss of habitat and degradation.

PEC recently teamed up with the American Bird Conservancy to produce a Bird Habitat Guide that offers tips on how you can enhance bird and wildlife habitat on your property.

Whether you have a large farm or small backyard, you can help a variety of birds to thrive through simple changes such as leaving a fence row to grow unkempt or allowing part of your yard to grow up in native grasses rather than mowing.

Below are a few ways that you can help birds thrive in different habitat areas of the Piedmont. You can read many tips in the Bird Habitat Guide online or obtain a hard copy from our office to learn more great tips on conserving bird and wildlife habitat.

Agricultural Habitat

Leaving field and waterway edges unmowed and ungrazed helps prevent runoff and erosion, and provides areas where birds can raise their young.


Add some native forbs, such as black-eyed Susan, to increase plant diversity and attract insects that are a vital source of protein for young birds during the growing season.


No disturbance should occur from mid-April through mid-August when birds are nesting and raising young.


A good supply of standing dead trees, also called snags, provide foraging sites for woodpeckers, and natural cavities for nesting in one of the best benefits of an old forest. Aim for at least four standing dead trees per acre.


Maintain riparian forest buffers for at least 100 feet on each side of the water body. These provide the best habitat for birds and the best maintenance of the aquatic food web.

Developed Areas

Put out bird feeders filled with quality seeds (black-oil sunflower and white proso millet), especially in the winter. Remember to clean feeders regularly to prevent disease.

Additional Resources