by Dottie Head, Director of Communications
Governor Brian Kemp recently signed a proclamation designating the month of September as Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month. A collaborative effort between Georgia Audubon, the Georgia Native Plant Society, and other state Audubon chapters, Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month celebrates Georgia’s native plants and raises awareness about the key role they play for birds and other wildlife.
“The biggest threat to birds in Georgia is habitat loss,” says Adam Betuel, Georgia Audubon director of conservation. “As urbanization increases and natural habitats disappear, it is more important than ever that we intentionally include more native plants in our landscapes. Native plants play host to native insects and pollinators which, in turn, provide food for birds and other wildlife. From adding native plants in pots on your balcony to reducing turf grass and planting native trees and shrubs in your yard, planting natives can have far reaching benefits for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. It’s something each of us can do in our own landscapes to aid bird conservation efforts.”
During Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month, Georgia Audubon will host a number of virtual and in-person events to educate the public about the importance of native plants to birds. Events include:
Fall Native Plant Sale
Accepting Orders: September 1 to 19
Lexington (Athens), Saturday, September 25
Decatur (Atlanta), Sunday, September 26
Georgia Audubon and Oconee Rivers Audubon, in Athens, will collaborate on a fall native plant sale. We will partner with Beech Hollow Wildlife Farms to bring you a large selection of bird-friendly, native plants for your landscape. Visit https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/plant-sales.html to view available plants or to place your order. Orders must be picked up on September 25, in Athens, or on September 26, in Decatur.
Virtual Trivia Night with Georgia Audubon: Plants and Birds Edition
Wednesday, September 8
7:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free, but registration required
Calling all bird nerds! Join us for an evening of bird-brained trivia from the comfort of your own home as we play through four rounds of bird and bird-related facts spanning a variety of topics related to Georgia's native plants and birds. The winning team/person will receive Georgia Audubon shirts or coffee and chocolate lovers pack and the coveted bragging rights. Learn more or sign up at https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.html.
Virtual Field Trip: Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month Edition (featuring some of Georgia Audubon's Habitat Restoration Sites)
Friday, September 10, at 9:00 AM
via Facebook Live and Zoom Webinar
Join us on the Georgia Audubon Facebook page or via Zoom for a virtual field trip with Georgia Audubon staff as they explore several of Georgia Audubon's Habitat Restoration Sites as part of Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month. To join via Facebook Live, simply visit the Georgia Audubon Facebook page at 9:00 AM on Friday, September 10. Learn more or sign up at https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.html.
Georgia Grows Native for Birds / Plantando para Pájaros
Saturday, September 11
8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Yellow River Park
Ages 12+, maximum 15 participants
Spanish translation will be available for this event
Flock together with Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation and Georgia Audubon for a lively exploration of forest, meadow, and riparian areas in which native bird species thrive. Finish the day by helping us transplant native pollinators into the ground to enrich habitat for wildlife. No birding expertise needed. Binoculars and planting tools provided or bring your own.
Júntese con el personal de Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation y Georgia Audubon para una exploración animada de los bosques, praderas y ríos en las que prosperan las especies de aves nativas. Termine el día ayudándonos a trasplantar polinizadores al suelo para enriquecer el hábitat para la vida silvestre. No se requiere tener experiencia en la observación de aves. Se proporcionan binoculares y herramientas para plantar o traiga los suyos.
Register here/ Regístrese aquí: https://secure.rec1.com/GA/gwinnett-county-parks-recreation/catalog?filter=c2VhcmNoPTE3MTA2Njk=
Webinar: Native Plants and Natural Communities from a Birds-eye View, with Dr. Leslie Edwards
Thursday, September 16
Cost: $12 per device
Piney woods, deciduous forests, prairies and marshes…Georgia is home to a variety of natural communities. And each natural community has its own array of native plants that provide the seeds, insect prey, berries, and nesting sites the birds need to survive. Observing the constantly changing, intricate web of relationships among native plants, habitats, and birds greatly enriches our appreciation of birds, and is necessary for effective bird conservation. In this presentation, we will learn about the importance of native plants to birds, and journey through some of the natural communities of north Georgia from a birds-eye view, brought to life by photographs from Georgia Audubon Master Birders and other Audubon photographers.
About the presenter: Leslie Edwards has a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia and is retired from the faculty of the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. She is the lead author of The Natural Communities of Georgia and author of “The Land, Climate, and Vegetation” chapter of The Georgia Breeding Bird Atlas. Dr. Edwards has spoken extensively about native plants and natural communities in Georgia and has served on the boards of several conservation-related organizations. She is currently on the board of Georgia Audubon. Learn more or sign up at https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.html.
Virtual 2021 Wildlife Sanctuary Tour
Sunday, September 19
Cost: $12 per device
Due to the popularity of last year's Virtual Wildlife Sanctuary tour and ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, we're going to again offer the 2021 Wildlife Sanctuary Tour as a virtual event. Gabe Andrle, Habitat Conservation Program Manager, will be giving us a virtual tour of some of our great Wildlife Sanctuaries to show how you can transform your yard into a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. Each featured property has been certified by Georgia Audubon as a Wildlife Sanctuary because it provides four essential criteria for attracting birds and other wildlife: food sources (at least 50% native plants), nesting sites, shelter, and water sources. Learn more or sign up at https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.html.
Field Trip: Native Plant and Bird Walk at Little Creek Horse Farm (DeKalb County)
Saturday, September 25
Join Georgia Audubon volunteer field trip leaders Gus Kaufman and Jamie Vidich for a native plant and bird walk at Little Creek Horse Farm, in DeKalb County, one of Georgia Audubon's habitat restoration sites. Learn more or sign up at https://www.georgiaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.html.
Webinar: Native Bees & Pollinators, with Georgann Schmalz
Sunday, September 26
3:30 to 4:30 PM
Cost: $12 per device
Ornitholophily is the term for pollination of plants by birds. Ornithologist Georgann Schmalz will share how flowers and their avian pollinators coevolved. You'll learn the characteristics of ornithophilous flowers and how to select the best ones for your Georgia garden. Why are birds better pollinators than insects? Which birds are the best pollinators? You'll learn these answers and much more in this delightful presentation.
Proceeds benefit yhe conservation, education, and community engagement efforts of Georgia Audubon.
Georgia Audubon is building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and community engagement.