The National Audubon Society says just say no to fake snow — on your outdoor holiday decor

A male cardinal finds plenty of snacks on native trees to keep fueled for the winter. The National Audubon Society suggests making native plants your go-to for gardens. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Mockingbird feasting on native berries in a winter garden. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
A robin flits among the branches of a holly tree, finding plenty to eat. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Real, not fake holly will bring the birds to the yard for the holidays. The National Audubon Society suggests skipping outdoor wreaths and garlands with fake berries that birds might ingest. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Part of the fun of the holiday season is putting up the outdoor decorations, but the National Audubon Society says to consider some bird-friendly decorations.

They suggest using native plants in your wreaths and garlands, incorporating things like mistletoe or winterberry.

Among the items they say are on the don’t list:

  • Fake garlands, especially those with fake berries, that birds might mistake for the real thing.
  • Ornaments with strings, wires or netting over decorations, which could entangle wildlife.
  • Trees wrapped in tiny lights from the trunk to the branches. It may be beautiful to look at but, according to the Audubon Society, birds may get trapped in those wires.

On the list of bird-friendly items: native plants and decals on your windows. They come in a variety of sizes and patterns, and help prevent collisions that kill millions of birds each year.

And if you want to enjoy the presence of birds all year long, consider native plants and trees in your yard as well.

Curious about which plants will grow best in your area? The National Audubon Society has a webpage you can check out. You can also check out their Instagram for tips and more information.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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