You may call it your neighborhood or community, your town or city. It’s the general area in which you live, where your family is, where you have a home to protect you from weather and other dangers, and where you get your food and water. In other words, this is where you can get all the basic things you need to live and grow. You share it with other people and with a variety of animals and plants.
For birds and other wildlife, the word we use for “home” is “habitat.” Just like your home, an animal’s habitat has all the basic things that it needs to live and grow: food, clean water, shelter, and space. But sometimes things can change in a habitat and make it unhealthy for some animals. Air and water can become polluted. Construction projects can destroy forests, drain water from wetlands, or take over large areas for buildings and roads. Another problem is climate change, which is upsetting the patterns of weather and other natural cycles that animals depend on.
In fact, people and other living things all share the same large habitat: Planet Earth. And just as people can cause problems on Earth, we are also very good at working individually and together to solve them. That’s the best way to make sure that all living things have a chance to be at home in a healthy habitat.
Photos: (t to b) Larry Lynch/Audubon Photography Awards; Toyota TogetherGreen. Illustrations: Sherrie York.