BACKYARD HABITATS

You can attract wildlife to your yard by creating a habitat complete with food, water, cover, and nesting areas.  You don't need to redo your whole yard to attract wildlife; you just need to add a few essential features.  A wildlife garden can fit in with almost any landscape style.

Here are some general ways to start making your yard a habitat:

 

1.  Let wildlife come in and out more easily.   Fences and walls are often barriers to wildlife.  So if you have a fence as a border, check to see if there is enough space under it to allow wildlife to pass through.  If there's not, make some.  Either dig holes under it or cut holes in the bottom (holes about the size of an iPad are ideal) and space the holes about every 8 feet or so.  (If you cut holes, check with your neighbor first if he or she is partial owner of the fence.)  If you have a wall, make sure that there is at least one entry point.  For example, if you have a gate, make sure there is enough space under it.  If you are replacing your fence, wall, or hedge, avoid putting up a new wall. Walls cannot usually be dug under, so they're worse for wildlife.

 

 

2.  Provide water, and encourage your neighbors to do so too.   Wildlife need water, and they're more likely to find your yard if there are water sources along the way.  A terra-cotta dish, like the kind that is placed under a potted plant, filled with water is a good choice.  Keep the dish filled every night.  A pond or fountain with a pump is even better, because the animals will hear water and be drawn to it. 

 

 

3.  Keep your dog inside.   Dogs can kill or injure wildlife, and even if they are restrained, animals will be deterred by them.  Keep your dog inside, preferably where barking cannot be heard from outside.

Click on a topic below to learn more about making your yard a habitat:

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