“We think about birds [in human landscapes] as mostly needing birdseed,” Burghardt says. But work over the past decade paints a different picture, one that points to the importance of insects for many. However, the vast majority of plant-eating insects are evolved to only eat a small number of native plants, which means that in gardens without the foliage of choice, they’re not around.
For human gardeners, as well, introducing native plants and seeing the wildlife—from caterpillars and other insects to birds—they attract can be “a pretty rewarding process,” Burghardt says.
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