It turns out that backyards matter a lot to birds, even in big cities. What you plant matters.
There are coyotes, bats, insects and, of course, birds, to name a few. Of those groups, the birds are probably the ones that most people care about, and the species that we most want to encourage to make homes in our yards. But how much do our backyards really matter? Quite a bit, a recent study finds, even in the big city. And what you decide to plant can affect which and how many species live near your house.
J. Amy Belaire and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted surveys in residential neighborhoods of the city that bordered forest preserves along the Chicago and DesPlaines rivers. ..The team tallied up 36 different species — 20 migratory, 12 year-round native and four nonnative species. Belaire and her colleagues reported in the December Ecological Applications. (2015) Popular article on Science News, Magazine of the Society for Science & the Public, about a study published in the December 2014 edition of the journal Ecological Applications