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Bring on the Birds! How to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard

Bring on the Birds! How to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard

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August 23, 2010

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.

  • 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!
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.
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