BiodiverseCity St. Louis

BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a growing network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region who share a stake in improving quality of life for all through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban and rural communities. Learn more about this effort, and join in.

Take Action Today…and Make It Count

Throughout St. Louis, every day, people are making big and small changes to their backyards, balconies, streetscapes, schoolyards, parking lots, and play areas. Some are doing this because they love nature and want to experience more of it in their daily lives. Others recognize that native plants in the right places help prevent flooding, clean and cool our air and improve human health and well-being. Still others embrace the positive impact that leafy streets, accessible parks, hiking/biking trails and other quality green spaces have on property values and the economic vibrancy of our region.

For all these reasons and more, the BiodiverseCitySTL Network invites each of the 2.9 million citizens of the greater St. Louis bi-state region to take action. In this spirit, we are excited to launch the Nature in Our Neighborhoods citizen action project. No matter who you are or where you live, all of us can do something to beautify, bio-diversify and better the communities in which we live, work, learn and play. To get started, check out our curated list of expert ideas and local resources from across our region, connect with others and share your stories.


Species Spotlight

Ruby-throated hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbird. Photo by Richard Houde.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
While more than 300 species of hummingbirds are known to science, we're likely to see just one frequenting our gardens—Archilochus colubris, the ruby-throated hummingbird. A. colubris is eastern North America's sole breeding hummingbird, feeding on the nectar of red and orange tubular flowers such as trumpet creeper, bee balm, cardinal flower, and red buckeye. They also catch insects in midair, pull them out of spider webs and sap wells, or pick small caterpillars and aphids from leaves.

A. colubris lives in open woodlands, forest edges, meadows, grasslands, and in parks, gardens, and backyards. Their nests are the size of large thimble, built directly on top of the branch rather than in a fork, often made of thistle or dandelion down held together with strands of spider silk and sometimes pine resin. Their taxonomic order is Apodiformes, meaning "without feet," which is how these fast-flyers appear most of the time.

To do: Enjoy these tiny, iridescent jewels this summer, as by early fall they're bound for Central America, with many crossing the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight.

For inspiration on a good pick-up move: This month, see if you can spot the male's impressive courtship dance: a looping, U-shaped dive starting from as high as 50 feet above the female. If the female perches, the male shifts to making fast side-to-side flights while facing her.

Featured Partner Programs

Milkweeds for Monarchs logo   Bring Conservation Home logo   Operation Clean Stream logo   Show Me Rain Gardens logo