Bird Gardens

With our bird gardens, the Los Angeles Zoo is inviting our wild, feathered neighbors—and migratory visitors—to make themselves at home. You can join us by creating a bird-friendly garden at your home, too.

Native birds are in trouble. “Flying south for winter” today involves avoiding predators, pesticides, windows, and more. Many birds don’t survive this long journey, let alone the return trip. The Los Angeles Zoo is helping birds with our bird gardens, and you can too with simple changes to your porch, patio, or yard!

  1. Reduce the lawn and add some plant variety. Plants provide birds with shelter from harsh weather and predators, building materials for their nests, and food from fruits, seeds, and nectar.
  2. Use logs, bushes, and decaying plant matter to give birds protection and attract insects, an important food source for many birds.
  3. Include water for bathing and drinking.

Bird Gardens at the L.A. Zoo

California Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)
  • Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica)
  • American Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Plants

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Toyon occurs in chaparral communities throughout much of California. In 2012 Toyon was named the official native plant of the City of Los Angeles.

White Sage
Salvia apiana
Native to the southern coast ranges and inner mountains of California, this plant was used by Native American for food, medicinal, and spiritual purposes.

California Fuchsia
Epilobium canum
Found throughout the Southwest, this plant is an important nectar source for hummingbirds due to its late-season blooms.

Baja California Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
  • White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
  • Black-Chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)
Plants

Bottle Palm
Beaucarnia recurvate
This large succulent is native to the semi-desert areas of central to southeastern Mexico. It provides shelter and nesting sites for birds.

Elephant Bush
Pachycormus discolor
This member of the cashew family is endemic to the Baja California, Mexico peninsula. It offers perching and food for small birds.

Elephant Tree
Bursera microphylla
Related to frankincense, this aromatic shrub is found in arid regions of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. It provides perching and food for birds.

North America Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
  • Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
  • Black-Headed Grosbeak (Pheucticas melanocephalus)
Plants

California Coffeeberry
Rhamnus californica
This shrub occurs in a variety of habitats throughout California, the Southwestern U.S., and Baja California, Mexico. Its berries are an important food source for wildlife.

Lindheimer’s Beeblossom
Oenothera lindheimeri
The native range of this plant is from southeastern Texas east into to Louisiana and south into Mexico. It is an important food source for birds and pollinators.

Hummingbird Sage
Salvia spathacea
Native to southern and central California, the attractive flowering spikes of this sage are an important food source for hummingbirds.

Australasia Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
  • American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
  • California Towhee (Pipilo crissalis)
Plants

Dwarf Bottlebrush Tree
Callistemon hybrid
Most bottlebrush species occur in eastern Australia, from the tropical north to the temperate south. It is an important source of nectar for birds and pollinators.

Parney’s Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster parneyi
Native to Asia, this shrub adapts to a wide range of conditions. Clusters of small white flowers produce bright red berries in fall and winter–an important food source for birds.

Ohi’a Lehua
Metrosideros collina ‘Springfire’
This flowering evergreen tree in the myrtle family is found throughout the Pan Pacific region. It is an important source of nectar for birds and pollinators.

Africa Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
  • Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)
  • Rufous-Crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)
Plants

Pincushion Flower
Scabiosa farinosa
Native to the hot Mediterranean climate of Tunisia in northern Africa, both birds and insect pollinators are attracted to this shrub’s lavender flowers.

Bird of Paradise
Strelitzia regina
Native to the eastern coast of South Africa, this plant has become a popular landscape selection in dry regions around the world. It is the official flower of the City of Los Angeles.

Snowball Viburnum
Viburnum tinus
Native to North Africa and the Mediterranean region of Europe, this shrub prefers shady, moist areas but tolerates dry conditions as well.

South America Garden

Birds you might see here
  • Black Phoebe (Saynoris nigricans)
  • Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
  • Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)
Plants

Red Powder Puff
Calliandra haematocephala
This densely branched shrub is native to South America. Under the right conditions, it can bloom year round, providing food and shelter for birds.

Sword Fern
Nephrolepis exaltata
This fern is a common landscape plant native to the Americas. It provides birds with hiding areas and nesting materials.

Coahuila Sage
Salvia coahuilensis
This beautiful sage comes from the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the province of Coahuila, Mexico. The purple flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators.