Turn Your Backyard into a Wildlife-Friendly Habitat
Guest Writer: Meghan Belnap
Are you an avid bird watcher or wildlife lover? Do you wish to hear the chirp of birds throughout your day or see a fox or deer feed in your own backyard? Making your home into a wildlife-friendly habitat is easier than you think!
1. Provide Food
Appropriate animal feed will likely draw them into your yard, and no, we aren’t talking trashcan scraps. Birdseed is an easy way to get birds flocking to your home. Consider putting in a pond and various plants that attract the type of insects animals feed on. Plant trees and shrubbery like wild plum and huckleberry that produce nuts and berries animals love to eat. Let your grass grow high and long in places to encourage rabbits. Plant nectar induced plants like lavender to invite bees.
2. Give Shelter
Give wild animals a reason to set up residence in your yard by providing a safe resting environment where they can raise their young. Keep things as natural as possible. Don’t get rid of dead trees and shrubbery so quickly. Build small log piles to give hedgehogs and amphibians a place to settle. Plant a variety of shrubs and trees throughout your property. Refrain from frequently mowing the lawn and trimming plants. As you allow your yard to overgrow a little, animals will more likely set up home.
3. Make Water Available
In addition to the provision of food, another great necessity for the sustainability of animal and plant life is water, and ensuring its availability is crucial. Finding a more suitable method of collecting and managing rainwater, as well as the maintenance of its flow to your backyard is an excellent way of ensuring the availability of water. Birds are three times more likely to die due to lack of water compared to the lack of food, especially during winter, which makes it necessary to keep the sources of water fresh and clean.
4. Wildlife Yard
There are various combinations of plot mixtures that can draw wildlife into your yard and most of these contain leguminous forbs like alfalfa and clovers and non-leguminous forbs such as brassicas and chicory. You can find plot mixtures at places like Central Farm and Garden or your local gardening store. Choose the plot mixtures that are best suited for your location and remember to always adhere to the instructions provided in the label of whatever herbicides you utilize. It is additionally important to rid your garden of any invasive plant species, which in turn eliminates competition for nutrients and light, allowing your plot mixture to blossom and providing an ideal habitat for wildlife.
As you create your wildlife-friendly habitat, it is important to meet the standards set by the National Wildlife Federation which sets basic requirements. Certify your backyard and help support programs that assist wildlife across the nation. The inclusion of wildlife in your backyard will complement the natural and aesthetic value of your home and provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere for both your family, and the animals, to enjoy.
Guest Writer: Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
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A QUESTION FOR YOU:
What would be your considerations in creating a wildlife-friendly habitat in your backyard?
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