I received this question in a comment on another post and thought I would answer it here for anyone else who is interested:

I don’t know anything about which birds migrate through my area yet. I know that there are some Kansas lakes which birders visit to see migratory waterfowl, but other than that I’m clueless. Can you write about how to discover which birds will pass through? Where would I find that information for Kansas?

The easiest way to discover which birds to be on the lookout for in your Wildlife Garden is to use the National Audbon Society website. Find your state and you’ll see all of the Audubon Chapters in your state. Choose the one that is closest to your house and then click through to that chapters website.

You should be able to obtain a list of your local birds, and these lists usually have prevalence data for each season. If a species is only present in your area during spring and fall, those are your migrants. A species only present during the summer are the ones that breed in your area. You will also be able to determine which species are resident year-round in your area.

This information is very useful in helping you plan your Wildlife Garden because you can see which birds are passing through and plan for their needs. If, for instance, you live in the grassland areas of Kansas, and you have found that grassland birds are in severe trouble in this country because we have destroyed 90 something percent of the native prairie, installing a prairie grassland in your garden would be a great idea.

You’ll need to determine the most appropriate garden type for your area. After contacting your local Audubon Society, it would be a great idea to obtain a list of appropriate plants from your state’s native plant society to assist you in choosing the best plants for your garden conditions.

To find your state’s native plant society, enter the name of your state followed by native plant society. For example, “Kansas native plant society” entered into the search box yields this link. And while you’re searching, also enter the name of your state followed by “invasive plants.” Here’s the link for “Kansas invasive plants.” Do not plant any species that is on the list of invasive plants for your area!

With these three lists, you are well on your way to choosing the best plants to attract the birds in your area, plus you are armed with information about the plants you should never plant in your garden.

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