In Africa, the bird friendly gardens are championed by interested individuals who come together through various forms. This could be in the form of nature conservation clubs, wildlife clubs, and site support group, tree planting foundations that volunteer or receive donations for trees or propagate plants/trees for greening purposes.
Why? Simply because many birds, especially urban birds have found ways to live together with people, as long as they are tolerated and not hunted by people and their pets.
To help birds and observe them at close range, you can start with a bird bath which is very simple and with not much cost involved.
Make sure to have water always available and change water every 1-2 days in warm weather to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching and use warmed water during the rainy season. Place a container made of clay, ceramic or plastic on a wooden board or a flat rock, or on top of a large tin. Put the container where dogs and cats cannot reach to see to the safety of birds.
You can also think about a birdfeeder which involves more time and also some resources.
Just hang a tray from a tree branch and fill it with natural food as millet, leftover pieces of apple or mango. Always watch it carefully to prevent rats and other animals from eating the food and also to identify the birds that come to eat, drink and bath. Keeping your cats indoor is also living in a bird friendly manner. In all this, we all have a role to play in creating environments and cities that are bird friendly. We can do this by planting bird friendly gardens adding some plant species that produce nesting materials for some birds. Creating bird baths and feeding areas where it is necessary to attract other kinds of birds which we would have otherwise not see due to lack of plants that attract them.
The BirdLife Partners in Africa, through the active efforts of their nature club members started bird conservation projects through which school gardens would be developed and maintained. The objective of this project is to provide knowledge for the wildlife club members on growing tropical economic trees such as Pawpaw; Orange; Cashew; Mango; Guava; Pear and other crops, such as herbs. A few schools were selected to pilot the initiative. This action is expected to serve as veritable aids towards youth entrepreneurship drive and at the same time achieving conservation objectives of providing a nourishable spawning site for forest and urban birds. In Nigeria, the BirdLife Partner in collaboration with the ‘Green Fingers Wildlife Club in Lagos’ established an urban nature park which comprises abundance of biodiversity of different conservation status. The objective of this 1200 m2urban nature park is to create a habitat that supports ecological functioning and processes of some domesticated and threatened biological diversity in the midst of urban development, which is one of the greatest threats in the area. “This nature park has served as a refuge for an African grey parrot recovered from wildlife trade dealers in the city. Of note, among other achievements of this park, is the ability to support the breeding habitat of wild geese using the Fluted Pumpkin (Telfaria occidentalis) plant – a tropical vine as a shade during egg hatching” explains Mr Solomon Adefolu, Nigerian WildLife Clubs in Africa Coordinator. Aside from this, it has also supported a male and female grey parrot together in the same holding cage with great potential of breeding and releasing after the species have been adapted to the new habitat.
Be a part of it and live bird friendly in your school, home, village and city.