Urban Nature Stewards

Understanding Urban Nature 

How do urban backyards contribute towards the biodiversity of our region? For the past five years, a group of Portland State University and Oregon State University researchers have been collecting insects and spiders (arthropods), counting bird species, measuring the shrub and tree cover in different neighborhoods. Recently, many of the neighbors in these communities have begun to help count the bird species in their yards. We are finding that the tree canopy has a big infuence on the amount of arthropods available for bnirds to eat, and consequently on the diversity of birds.  

We will continue to study the plants, arthropod species, and birds. We invite you to participate in this study.

Here are links to the different shrub and tree species in our area, how to help gather data about birds,  identification and data collection, and some of the different ways we collect insect/arthropod data . Together, these studies help us understand how backyard habitats might influence biodiversity.

Native plants of the Pacific Northwest

Birds of the Pacific Northwest

Backyard butterflies, moths and caterpillars

Urban bees

Ecology for Gardeners

Plant-arthropod_2015.pdf299.32 KB