Honoring, Protecting & Loving Birds – 2018 The Year of the Bird

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

There is mythology that when a person becomes enlightened the language of birds becomes as clear as that person’s native tongue. In this state of consciousness the wonders of the universe are revealed by birdsong.

This idea is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Human language and bird language are more similar than between any other two species. Researchers at MIT and University of Tokyo suggest that human language is based on the elaborate song of birds and other types of expression. We share fifty genes with birds related to language and song.

Birdsong isn’t the only inspiration given to humans by birds. Who has not imagined, or dreamed, of flying like a bird. To look to the sky and know the world as birds in flight do, stirs our hearts and imaginations. A garden is incomplete without the flight and life of birds within it.

2018 is the Year of the Bird. We can honor, protect and love birds more deeply by committing to having our gardens be homes and sanctuaries for birds. A joint partnership between National Geographic Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon Society and Birdlife International is honoring the 100 year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This law protects migrating birds in their winter and summer homes, and the flyways they travel between.

The MBTA law protects birds on public and private property, but it does not protect the habitat they need for their homes and travels. As bird habitat shrinks it is necessary that our lands and gardens, from large tracks of property to small backyards, be the homes and sanctuaries that birds need. Our gardens can be pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle that allows birds to live and travel in the habitats that guarantee their continued life.

Our gardens need to provide food, shelter and water for birds. Food comes from the insects that live in our gardens along with the seeds of plants. Native trees and plants are most needed in our gardens because these are the ones that are home to insects birds need. Trees, shrubs and an abundance of native plants are needed for shelter. Bird feeding along with water is needed in winter.

Make a pledge to help birds in your garden. Go to the “Year of the Bird” online and sign up for monthly tips on what can be done to bring birds, their language and beauty to our gardens.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or her website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Call her at (314) 504-4266.