Bring on the Birds! How to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard
One of the best parts of having a
nice backyard is the bird-watching and wildlife viewing
opportunities just outside your window. Careful landscaping can be
all the invitation those lovely birds and delightful squirrels need
to make their homes on your property!
Building a Wildlife-Friendly Backyard
Creating a safe haven for wildlife in your backyard isn't
difficult. It just requires attention to detail and a few of the
perfect shrubs and trees for your feathered and furred friends.
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- Instead of spending all that money on keeping a lush
carpet of green in your backyard, why not make it more
wildlife-friendly with local plants and native grasses? Fill in the
wide open expanse with butterfly gardens, low and flowering shrubs,
and trees that provide plenty of shade in the coming years.
- Avoid fertilizers or other chemicals that can harm
birds and wildlife. Sure, fertilizers can give you that jewel green
lawn, but they can also harm the lovely animals that would love to
enjoy the space. Opt for organic lawn care instead.
- Set out bird feeders and keep them full. Offer
birdbaths at various points on your lawn for your feathered friends
to enjoy. Avoid problems with mosquitoes by investing in a few bat
houses, and change the water in the birdbaths frequently.
- Leave dead trees alone if you can. Unless dead trees
on your property pose a danger of falling over and harming
structures on your land, leave them alone. Birds love to nest in
them, and small wildlife, such as squirrels and raccoons, love the
hiding places dead and hollow trees can provide.
- Keep domestic animals away from the birds! Don't let
your house cat go prowling for a feathered meal, and make certain
your dogs leave the smaller critters alone.
- There are over 700 species of butterflies in the
United States. Take advantage of this by building a butterfly
garden in your backyard! However, check to make certain that the
butterfly plants you put in your garden are not invasive weeds that
could take over everything else in the neighborhood.
- Consider a small backyard
pond or stream to entice birds, butterflies, and other forms of
wildlife to venture to your door. It's a beautiful addition that
also supplies needed minerals and nutrients.
- Finally, always offer plenty of shade, water, food,
and protection to your backyard visitors. The more essentials they
find in your backyard, the more likely they are to settle down and
make their home with you!
Shannon Dauphin is a
freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was
built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her
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