Create a Wild Bird Habitat in Your Yard | System Pavers
How often do you take time to listen – really listen – to the musical sound of nature’s wild birds and other critters in your backyard? Can you distinguish the different sounds songbirds, woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, sparrows and other common species make? One of the great joys in life is the enjoyment received from spending time in your yard and garden watching and listening to wild birds and other wildlife enjoy the sanctuary you have provided. While there is no single “ideal” formula for creating an outdoor living area that suits your tastes and desires, when you view your yard as a “habitat” your ecological awareness will increase and your yard will become practical as well as beautiful. Take the time to consider a few basic concepts for creating a healthy yard for your winged friends and you will be rewarded with a flourishing habitat full of life, beautiful sounds and sometimes funny antics that will give you material for future storytelling opportunities. What does a healthy yard habitat consist of?
To start, you need a healthy environment for your winged friends to reside, that's as free of pesticides as possible. A healthy bird habitat will include native plants that will provide food at different times of the year to birds in the form of seeds, fruit or beneficial insect host sites. Native plants are often ideally suited to provide shelter for safe nesting sites and are plants that local wild birds will recognize. Be sure to include plants that will protect birds from harsh weather or other conditions. Consider raking leaves under and in front of trees and shrubs to provide foraging areas for birds.
Photo credit: By Duncan McCaskill (Picasa Web Albums) , via Wikimedia Commons Birds need a source of water for drinking and bathing. By providing a clean, fresh source of water you will attract many more species that will visit bird feeders. While a natural water source (such as a creek or wetland) will enhance the attractiveness of your garden it’s not always feasible. Bird baths with running water will attract birds a drip or misting feature is also desirable. Ponds and water gardens are a wise investment in your yard and garden. Beautiful, engaging and relaxing for people, birds are naturally drawn to these types of water elements.
Many backyard bird species thrive on insects but will eat nuts, fruit or nectar. Consider planting native plant varieties to naturally attract and support a healthy bird habitat. Here are some native plants you might consider growing to help build a healthy bird habitat: Trees • Oak, hickory, buckeye, chestnut, walnut, pine, spruce, fir, maple, cherry or alder • Holly, dogwood, grape, cactus • Serviceberry, elderberry, red mulberry, hackberry, bayberry, raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, pokeberry Flowers • Sunflowers, coneflowers, asters, goldenrod • Columbine, lobelia, penstemon, azalea, fuchsia, native honeysuckle and yucca