Are we really helping?

Marilyn Chryst shared this blog post by Susan J. Tweit from the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens website.

A broad-tailed hummingbird rests on the stem of a wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on a cold September morning. (Photo: Susan J. Tweit)

A broad-tailed hummingbird rests on the stem of a wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on a cold September morning. (Photo: Susan J. Tweit)

When we garden or landscape with the aim of restoring habitat for wildlife, are we really making a difference? There’s precious little research quantifying the effects of our hard work, but new studies are encouraging.

Earlier, I wrote about a study in Arizona which showed that yards landscaped in a way that mimicked surrounding wild landscapes, using at least some native species, supported not only higher bird species diversity, but also provided less stressful habitat as measured by feeding behavior. That was a definite yes.

A pair of new studies of bird and plant diversity in urban habitat support that conclusion, if in a bit of a back-door way for one.

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