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Zoo News Blog

Good News: We Can Protect Birds in Our Own Yards

We hope you enjoyed visiting with our flamingo flock today! Our bird keepers and veterinarians provide those beautiful pink birds with the most extraordinary care. You likely learned that the flamingos at the Houston Zoo are a species that can be found in the wild in Chile, South America. If you lived in Chile near a mudflat, lagoon, or lake you may even find flamingos in your backyard!

Here in the Greater Houston area, we have noted over 300 species of birds in our backyards, making our area one of the most diverse in the country for birds! Unfortunately, birds face numerous threats in the wild—but many of those threats can be decreased by taking easy actions in our own spaces. Whether you live in an apartment or a home with a yard, there are plenty of actions you can take while safely at home to help protect birds.

Eastern screech owl

How You Can Help Birds:

• Plant native species like Turk’s Cap, American Beautyberry, or Texas frogfruit in your yard (or on your patio in planters), to provide food for birds
• Install and maintain a water feature, like a bird bath
• Install and maintain a nest box—these help with one of our most adorable backyard birds, the screech owl
• Install and maintain a bird feeder

Visit our Pollinator Awareness Take Action page to learn what actions you can do from home to help protect birds and other local wildlife.

Blue jay

Some of the Houston local birds you may attract to your yard or patio by implementing these actions include:
• Ruby-throated Hummingbird
• Northern Cardinal
• Eastern Screech Owl
• Blue Jay
• American Robin
• And more!

The Houston Zoo has implemented many of the same actions listed above on-grounds to help support local birds. We have nest boxes throughout the Zoo for wild birds, and LOTS of native plants. Our Texas Wetlands exhibit is a great water feature and is proving to attract a number of local bird species throughout the year. We can’t wait for you to see some of the ways we have gone bird-friendly when we reopen.

Houston Zoo staff who installed nested boxes and planted native plants at their homes.

In the meantime, you can support the Zoo’s Emergency Zoo Fund, which helps us care for the animals at the Zoo and protect animals in the wild.