The Bird-Friendly Spaces Program FAQs

Anyone can create a bird-friendly space, whether you have acres of land, a paved balcony, or no outdoor space at all.

Some actions may be easier to start with and could substitute what you already do, like buying bird-friendly coffee instead of your normal brew or reducing your plastic use by using reusable alternatives to straws and plastic bags and using reusable alternatives instead. Check out the program overview to see what actions you can take now and what you can plan for in the future. Start small and take it one action at a time!

Our space-specific resources are beginner-friendly guides that can help you get started based on the type of space you have.

Direct benefits of joining the program include:

  • A welcome package
  • Certificate of recognition
  • Badges (stickers) for each action achieved
  • Opportunity to purchase yard sign
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Monthly newsletter subscription

Joining the Bird-Friendly Spaces Program provides environmental benefits like an increase in green space connecting habitat areas and creating a better future for wildlife. You will also gain personal benefits including mental and physical wellbeing and inclusion in a supportive community of other wildlife lovers. You can inspire the next generation to get involved in bird-friendly actions!

You don't need to spend tons of time creating a bird-friendly space! Many of the actions can be easily added into your life, like becoming a bird-friendly ambassador at work by educating your coworkers about birds or keeping your cats indoors.

Other actions may take time to set up, but may have long-term time-saving benefits! For example, it takes time to plant native plants, but these species will require less care and maintenance than non-native ornamentals once they have become established.

Check out our space-specific guides for more time-saving tips!

Yes! Each category contains actions that can be applied to any space, regardless of whether the space includes an outdoor area or not. We encourage everyone to apply who is working to make whatever space they have bird-friendly.

The program is FREE!

Optional yard signs are available for purchase separately for $25.78 through UZ Marketing. Please contact Kathy Sweezey (ksweezey@houstonaudubon.org) for details on purchasing a yard sign.

You must complete at least 3 different actions that fall under at least 2 of the 3 different categories below. Click here to review definitions for each action.

Create Inviting Habitat

  • Install and maintain a water feature
  • Plant native plants
  • Remove invasive plants in space
    OR 
    around space if indoor only
  • Setup and maintain a bird feeder
    OR 
    provide food for birds in a nearby space if indoor only
  • Install and maintain nest boxes or natural nesting locations (i.e. snags)
  • Volunteer at a native plant event

Connect With Others

  • Current Houston Audubon member
  • Educate others as a bird-friendly ambassador at school or work
  • Contribute regularly to community science (eBird, iNaturalist, etc.)
  • Participate in monthly bird surveys
  • Attend a class on subjects like birding, bird-friendly communities, or native plants within the last year
  • Active on social media bird page
  • Volunteer at a bird-friendly organization

Limit Threats to Birds

  • Avoid non-natural pesticides
  • Buy bird-friendly items (coffee, rice, beer, etc.)
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Regularly clean up trash in my community
  • Limit plastic use
  • Turn off outdoor lights at night during migration season
  • Prevent daytime window collisions with decals/film/screens/etc.

You do not need to renew each year. However, you can receive a free annual badge documenting the years that you have participated in the program by completing the Additional Badges Form.

No, signs are optional. Badges will be sent to you for free as stickers that you can put on your sign, water bottle, laptop, or wherever makes sense for you!

If you have already applied to the program, please email Kathy Sweezey (ksweezey@houstonaudubon.org) for information on how to purchase a sign.

If you have not applied to the program yet, click here to apply first and make sure to choose "Yes" for the question asking if you are interested in purchasing a yard sign!

Badges will be mailed out once a month. If you would like to pick your badges up sooner, please contact Kathy Sweezey (ksweezey@houstonaudubon.org) to schedule a pick up at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary.

You do not need to reapply! Please email Kathy Sweezey (ksweezey@houstonaudubon.org) to update your address.

Congratulations, and thank you for making Houston a friendlier city for birds! This program is frequently reviewed with plans to add new actions and more badges over time. Additionally, you can receive annual badges for each calendar year by completing the Additional Badges Form. Keep up the great work!

This program services anyone living in the greater Houston-Galveston region.

Click here to apply →

Do you have a question about the Bird-Friendly Spaces Program?