When people think of the suburbs, they think of a place that’s not very good for biological diversity. but what we found is that it is really a rich place you get a greater richness of bird species in the suburbs than in the deep core of the city, or even in the forests or other natural habitats that are nearby the suburbs. It’s an adult in 2010, so he’s 7 years old 7 year old male, that’s a good deal The suburban area, and really the urban area as well, is an ecosystem. We are part of that ecosystem. We are truly neighbors with the animals that share our yards Suburbs are a good bird habitat but to keep that diversity going and to enhance it there is a lot that we need to do There are really three general areas to consider when we want to make a bird friendly neighborhood. One of the first things we want to do is make the habitat in your yard more diverse and better suitable for birds. The most important way to do that is to reduce the amount of lawn area. The typical turf lawn is not used by many animals and certainly not used by animals for their full life cycle. Increasing the amount of natural shrub cover or even non-native shrubs is a better habitat for animals than the industrial lawn. In addition to reducing the lawn area in your yard, you should also provide food for the birds that will utilize this more diverse landscape that you’ve created. Maybe add a water feature to increase the use of that land by animals that need water In addition to providing food and water for the birds that live in your yard it is important to provide shelter Most people, when a tree dies they get rid of it, and a lot of animals need dead trees to roost in and to nest within, so providing these standing dead trees is a critical addition that we can make to a neighborhood. What we did was instead of waiting for nature to take its course and create a dead tree we sped up the process. You’ll see an arborist is cutting slots into the top of the tree little crevices for bats to crawl into in the coming summer, or perhaps for a Brown Creeper to sneak in and put its nest in. The second general area is dealing with the safety of the animals that are going to be living there Reducing the two primary sources of bird mortality involve keeping cats inside, they’re the number 1 killer of birds. The other major source of mortality is collisions with windows so making those visible to birds, ultra violet reflective films or stickers are probably the easiest way. The third general area is the human engagement with those animals. The really important thing is to try to engage those animals and enjoy them and wonder about them and get your kids and your neighbors to share that passion that you might have for those animals Some people when they feed birds they have extraordinary interactions with these birds in particular, some of the larger social long live birds like the American Crow tend to form very personal bonds with individuals. In some cases, these crows actually leave gifts for these people that routinely feed them little trinkets, little lockets from bracelets or weird pieces of metal. Building a connection with nature in your own yard, as simple as it may be, hopefully builds a broader environmental ethic and a love of nature, that I hope would allow people to make the sacrifices that are necessary to set aside big pieces of wild land where the animals that don’t live with us can also thrive.