Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to Create a Backyard Habitat

You may have noticed by now that I am a big-time animal lover. I don't discriminate- pets of all kinds are precious to me, and I've also got a soft spot for wild critters. For many years now, I've been providing food and water for all the neighborhood animals who care to visit. I can't even tell you how much joy it brings me to have a yard full of wildlife chirping, singing, and happily flitting around with plenty of fresh water and bellies full of food. It's as simple as providing food and water, but I've got a few little tips in case you're interested in creating your own little wildlife haven.

VARIETY
For starters, it helps to set up multiple food and water sources to accommodate a variety of animals. Some birds prefer to feed in the trees, while others are ground feeders. And although I have seen squirrels in my birdbath before, I like to provide little dishes full of food and water on my deck where my four-legged friends can easily reach them.

Backyard Habitat

SEED
Sunflower seeds are the favorite of many bird enthusiasts. Almost all seed-eating birds love them, and squirrels do too. If you purchase a cheaper seed variety, such as millet, many birds will throw it aside looking for the good stuff. To avoid waste and attract a wide variety of beautiful birds (sparrows, cardinals, mourning doves, finches, chickadees, blue jays), pure sunflower seeds or a mix with a high percentage or sunflower seeds will be your best bet.

Backyard Habitat

SUET
An effective yet thrifty way to feed birds is to purchase a suet feeder. The feeder itself is shaped like a small cage and is very inexpensive, and the suet cakes typically cost about a dollar apiece. These high-energy cakes are a great way to keep your birds healthy in the winter, and they also attract woodpeckers! Although ground-feeding birds will be left out, suet feeders would be a good starting point for someone wanting to try their hand at attracting birds to their home.

Backyard Habitat

WATER
If you enjoy seeing birds wildly splashing around in puddles, setting up a bird bath would most likely bring a smile to your face on a daily basis. One thing to remember if you have a birdbath is that a few stones at the bottom of the birdbath will allow birds of all sizes to drink and bathe. Even the tiniest of birds will be able to find a spot that is not too deep. Place your bird bath a good distance away from any trees or hedges so that birds can drink and play freely without the fear of something hiding nearby, waiting to attack.

Backyard Habitat

CONSISTENCY
If you plan to attract wild animals to your home, be aware that they will come to depend on it as a food source so you should refill the feeders as soon as possible once they're empty. If it becomes a reliable feeding ground, the birds will introduce their young to your home as a safe place to get their grub on.

Backyard Habitat

REWARDS
I can promise you one thing: If you provide food and water for local animals, they WILL hang out near your home. It doesn't matter if you live on a farm or in an apartment, if you've got even a tiny slice of outdoor space to call your own, you can enjoy the company of feathered and furry friends. You never know what kind of animals will show up. The birdseed I buy has sunflower seeds, peanuts, and berries, and I've often noticed a little bunny enjoying breakfast with the birds!

Backyard Habitat

Even when I lived in a third floor apartment, I had an abundance of creatures on my balcony at any given time. If you want to know more about my adventures with these little friends of mine, click here to view past posts and you will see that it's been an enjoyable part of my life for many years now. What kind of wild animals would you most enjoy having around?

This project is linked up with other fun tutorials here!

13 comments:

babalisme said...

Oh that's why you're always surrounded by little forest critters like Snow White! I might do the same but I think I'll mostly attract newts, cockroaches, and some sewer rats. The joy living in big city.

JUST ME said...

I saw a little bunneh today too. It was adorable.

And your backyard is further proof of why I love you.

DancingMooney ♥ said...

We don't have a lot of fence lines or trees on our street so we don't see the squirrels around here very often, but we do feed the birds... it's so fun to watch them, and see what kinds stop by. Most often we get blue jays, red winged black birds, finches, and sometimes robins... We also have swallows, and bats that come out at night, to eat the bugs...

cute post Holly! I love all your feeders and houses, yay! ;)

Cabootique said...

Such a gorgeous yard! I love having little critters around :) Hearing and watching birds outside starts my days off happy.

Erin Bradley said...

This is like my backyard, we love having little critters all around! :)

Pili said...

I love your backyard and all the little critters in there!

Faerie Moon Creations said...

What a fabulous post! Thank you so very much for sharing this. I'd love to see bunnies and deer - we have an abundance of squirrels and chipmunks, butterflies and other winged creatures. I loved all your tips and photos!

Stela said...

great space!! I wish I had a back yard for my own little habitat!

Robin Thomas said...

You are a natural born teacher,

Merliza said...

i like the idea :) great concept.. bBy providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young, your garden can join the nearly 140,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat™ sites across the country.

ArtistGirl said...

Your birdhouses are so cute!! Thanks for the tip about the stones in the bird bath. I'm going to try that.

Renee said...

So cute! I love the little piece of paradise you've created in your backyard. Everyone needs a special place they can go to relax and feel at peace with the world and I think this is the perfect place for you :) I can imagine you frolicking back there with your cute pig-tail braids singing along with all the birds that happily watch over you :)

Kristin said...

I've always wanted to set up a birdhouse!