Urban Native Greens

One of Audubon Delta’s Community Science projects under the Urban Native Greens program explores links between human-induced changes in land cover and the urban-suburban ecosystem while evaluating wildlife health impact as it is relevant to environmental quality and influence on human health.

Urban and suburban habitats with increasing diversity of native plantings and green spaces have been demonstrated to increase bird diversity and abundance, breeding outcomes, and survivorship. Still, these ideas need to be more deeply explored, especially in the southeastern United States, where urban sprawl is rampant. There may be essential ecological nuances in warmer environments.   

 This project currently engages with groups that include community scientists, native plant societies, community leaders, and undergraduate and graduate students to test hypotheses about the benefits and costs of pesticide use and native plantings. The sites for the project include a variety of residential yards and public green spaces along an urban-rural gradient, representing variation in the intensity of pesticide use, native plant diversity, and landscape habitat context.  

 As representative bird species, we have selected the Purple Martin, Prothonotary Warbler, Carolina Wren, and Carolina Chickadee as our focal species. Suppose you would like to monitor nests of these species around your home or one of our study sites. In that case, you must become familiar with the orientation materials, protocols, and data entry platform. Nests should be checked twice a week from mid-March through July for Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, and Prothonotary Warblers or once a week from mid-March through June for Purple Martins. We recognize this is a commitment, and it is possible to join a monitoring team at an established site if your time is more limited. 

Please get in touch with Dr. Erik Johnson at for more information.

Register your nest data at our data entry platform with Fieldscope. 

Check out this video on Nest Monitoring Training (use code #C20eF7s).

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