Why go native?

Unless we modify the places we live, work and play to meet not only our own needs but the needs of other species as well, nearly all species of wildlife native to the United States will disappear forever. This is not speculation.
 – Dr. Doug Tallamy

Hear from Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, why landscaping with native plants is the sustainable choice for birds, insects, and people.

What to plant

When deciding to use native plants in your bird-friendly yard, there are several elements to consider:

Looking for a plant list?

View our Michigan Native Plants for Bird-Friendly Landscapes Booklet to see a selection of top-performing plants for birds

Looking for landscape design ideas?

View our Michigan Native Garden Designs for the Birds Booklet to see landscaping ideas for your property

Booklets are available for a suggested donation of $2. You can request copies of these booklets by emailing birds@michiganaudubon.org. You can also share the links to the pdfs or request a print-ready file that can be used by a professional printer.

Where to purchase

Native Plant Growers & Seed Producers:

Michigan Native Plant Producers Association Members

Designs by Nature, Laingsburg, MI. Email: designsbynature@hotmail.com

Michigan Wildflower Farm, Portland, MI

Native Connections, Three Rivers, MI

Native Plant Nursery, Ann Arbor, MI

Wildtype Native Nursery, Mason MI

Many local Conservation Districts offer spring tree, shrub, and plant sales

Do you grow or landscape with native plants? Contact us if you’d like to be featured in our list.

Nurseries Providing Native Stock:

The following nurseries are partners in Michigan Audubon’s Native Plants for Birds program. These nurseries sell both ornamental and Michigan native plants, which are identified with Michigan Audubon’s “I’m Local!” pot tags. Look for the “I’m Local!” pot tags at the following nurseries and support their efforts to bring native plants into an ornamental-dominated market. We thank these partners for working to change traditional gardening ideals — our gardens can be both beautiful and ecologically functional!

Specialty Growers, Howell, MI

Van Atta’s Garden Center, Haslett, MI



Do you own a nursery that offers native plants? Contact us if you’d like to learn more about becoming a program partner.



Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy

A Field Identification Guide to Invasive Plants in Michigan’s Natural Communities by Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan by Lynn M. Steiner

Stokes Bird Gardening Book: The Complete Guide to Creating a Bird-Friendly Habitat in Your Backyard by Donald and Lillian Stokes

Local Organizations


Bringing Nature Home

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin

Michigan Flora, University of Michigan Herbarium

NestWatch by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Prairie Nursery’s Pre-planned Songbird Gardens provide design inspiration (but please buy local!)

YardMap by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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