South Florida Bird Gardening

Tonight my mother and I went to a talk at Fairchild Tropical Gardens to hear Dr. James Kushlan and Kirsten Hines speak about how to grow a garden in your yard that will attract more birds that are indigenous (originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native) to South Florida.


Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens and Book Signing Event 

James A. Kushlan and Kirsten Hines present their new books on South Florida gardening, Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens and Birds of Fairchild. They will discuss how bird gardening is different in sub-tropical South Florida, why Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden with its bird conservation program is a good example of bird-friendly landscaping, and what you can do to make your own yard, even just a patio, more attractive to our unique community of birds, helping to restore and maintain the region’s ecological functions through bird-friendly landscaping.




We learned a few things that we are going to do in our backyard. We are going to make a owl house and a woodpecker house. Did you know that woodpecker houses must have metal around the hole or they will destroy their own house? If you put up the owl house you might get an owl living in it in about two days only. I can’t wait.


Eastern Screech Owl 13-06


We also learned that birds in Florida, especially South Florida, don’t need to be fed. You only need to do that if you want to see them up close. They will eat all the bugs in your yard for you instead. The speakers gave the example that the plants have bugs on them and the birds come to the plants and eat the bugs and then the birds will also eat the seeds and spread the seeds for the plant. And don’t buy that mix at the grocery store, it has seed that local birds don’t eat. Just buy black oil sunflower seeds for most birds or white millet if you want painted buntings.

Painted Bunting

Oh, did you know that plants that we think are indigenous are not really? They were brought here by birds, in their bellies and then they poop out the seeds and the plant grows. So most of our indigenous plants are really just from somewhere in the Caribbean like the Bahamas or Cuba.

Here is a website that has Florida bird sounds

You can check out the blog of the photographer Kirsten Hines at

We had a good time and learned a whole bunch about birds. I can’t wait to get started.