Ecological and social factors determining the diversity of birds in residential yards and gardens

Mark A. Goddard*, Karen Ikin, Susannah B. Lerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Residential landscapes with private yards and gardens are a major land cover in many cities, represent a considerable opportunity for bird conservation and enhance human experiences with wildlife. The number of studies of birds in residential landscapes is increasing worldwide, but a global-scale perspective on this research is lacking. Here we review the research conducted on birds in residential settings to explore how birds respond to this novel habitat and how private gardens can be designed and managed to enhance their value for bird populations and for human well-being. We examine the key ecological and social drivers that influence birds and draw particular attention to the importance of scale, the role of bird feeding, the predation risk from cats and the relationship between native vegetation and bird diversity. The success of bird conservation initiatives in residential landscapes hinges on collaboration between a range of stakeholders, and we conclude the chapter by making recommendations for urban planners and evaluating policy tools for incentivising householders and communities to conserve birds in their neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcology and Conservation of Birds in Urban Environments
EditorsEnrique Murgui, Marcus Hedblom
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319433141
ISBN (Print)9783319433127
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2017


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