Want to be Closer To Nature?

WOULD YOU like to look out of your kitchen window and see a squirrel coming down a tree looking for food?

What about seeing a young doe with two fawns playing in the woods at the rear of your yard? Would you like to see a hummingbird up close and personal while you are enjoying your morning breakfast?

All of this, and much more, could be yours with a little thought and planning.

Consider your backyard from an animal’s point of view. To survive, all wildlife need food, water, cover and places to raise their young.

Take a nature walk and study your property. Make notes:

  • Have you provided enough plants with fruits, nuts, seeds and colorful flowers?
  • Is there a mix of evergreen and deciduous (will lose it’s leaves in the fall) vegetation for variety?
  • Do you maintain a source of clean water for birds?
  • Is there an area that you could stop mowing and let grow wild?
  • Do trees, shrubs and ground cover provide sufficient cover for animals?
  • Consider attaching nesting boxes, flowering vines or feeders to fence posts and buildings.
  • Is your soil fertile enough too support new plantings?
  • Is there an area that could be converted into a wetland garden.

Sit quietly and observe passing wildlife. Animals will show you where your backyard wildlife habitat site can begin. Just look, and then get to work.

Creating your successful backyard wildlife habitat will make you part naturalist, landscaper and wildlife manager. To sustain a healthy, varied animal population, be sure to avoid these pitfalls:

  • Suet spoils at 70 degrees. Nuts turn rancid in heat, so only use them for food in winter.
  • Dangerous fungi contaminate wet bird seed. Store it in a dry place, away from squirrels.
  • Keep the ground clean under feeders. Rake away seed hulls. Rotate feeders on a regular basis.
  • Remember to keep water features filled and free from ice.
  • Don’t use electric fences to control deer; they kill hummingbirds.
  • Just say no to pesticides in your garden. Chemicals can poison the wildlife you worked so hard to attract. Use companion planting and biological controls instead.