Stephen Kress, director and founder of Project Puffin, is the author of the recently published second edition of “The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds” and many other books on creating bird habitat. He will be at the Project Puffin Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 28 at 5 p.m. to discuss the parallels between establishing island seabird populations and backyard bird habitat, which is often an island among sterile landscapes of neighboring properties. His talk will emphasize inter-relationships between wild birds and native plants that offer vital food, shelter and nesting habitats.

Owners of properties of all sizes can attract more birds and a greater variety of birds by planting vegetation in a manner that mimics natural plant communities. Such plantings not only provide food, but they also offer nesting sites and shelter from extreme weather. Kress will discuss how native plants attract birds with sweet fruits in the summer, fatty foods just in time for migration and fruits high in carbohydrates during the winter. Plants also benefit from having birds in the neighborhood as more than 300 species of trees, shrubs, vines and ground covers rely on birds to distribute the seeds away from the parent plants. Planting the proper mix of native fruiting and flowering trees, shrubs and vines will help to meet the needs of birds throughout the season while filling gardens with the songs and bright colors of birds.

Kress makes specific recommendations for which plants to select and describes how to arrange the plants on both backyard and larger property scales. Using slides taken in model bird gardens and his own property in Ithaca, N.Y., his presentation will emphasize why native plants are usually better for birds than introduced species. To further enhance the backyard for birds, Kress will discuss how to create brush piles, water pools and hedges, and how to encourage cavity-nesting birds. The program also includes specific suggestions for how to attract hummingbirds with plantings and how to make a backyard habitat a safer place for birds.

While many of the world’s great environmental problems may seem beyond reach, any property owner can create an oasis of natural habitat that provides food and shelter for resident and migratory birds. To make reservations for this presentation call 596-5566.