Birds the Word 

Bee on a sunflower

Skye Glover 

Audubon Mid-Atlantic 

Delaware River Watershed Program Coordinator 

Urban green spaces are important to people, birds, and pollinators. These natural spaces offer peace and a sense of fulfillment that often gets forgotten when living in a concrete jungle like Philadelphia.The need for easier access to green spaces within Philly has increased, making places like John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Bartram’s Garden, and the Discovery Center in Strawberry Mansion all the more essential to the visitors that frequent them, whether human or wildlife. 

When thinking about Philadelphia birds, oftentimes the first thought is “Go Eagles!” or maybe pigeons come to mind. Philly hosts hundreds of species of birds, both permanent residents and temporary visitors that enjoy our green spaces, food sources, and water supplies. During the fall and spring season thousands of birds pass through Philadelphia, looking for the resources they need to survive. These colorful guests require these green spaces to rest and prepare for the long journey ahead. Without these safe spaces, these birds would die before they reached their destination. 

Birds aren’t the only wildlife that visit urban gardens. Pollinator insects also rely on the plants and flowers in our neighborhoods. Bird populations are also linked to the survival of these insects for food. Along with being food sources to many species of birds, these insects are important to the life cycle of many plants. Bumblebees, butterflies, and even ants are all pollinators that spread pollen from flower to flower as they search for food. Not only are they essential for birds, but much of the farmed food that we eat would not grow without the help of pollinators. 

Audubon Mid-Atlantic and many partners – including the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, the National Wildlife Federation, and Thomas Jefferson University – are looking to work together to build more pollinator gardens across south west Philly making a pollinator corridor. This corridor will make it easier for both wildlife and people to access healthy green spaces. 

You can get involved with this pollinator project and support wildlife in your neighborhood. If you have some space for a little garden, planter box or flower bed, adding native plants is a great way to add habitat. Native plants, or plants historically from this area, can be beautiful additions to any home garden, while offering a food source for pollinators. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved with introducing more pollinator gardens across southwest Philly, we’d love to hear from you! Contact for more information. 

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.

Share This