With cities growing and expanding so quickly we are destroying more and more wildlife habitats every year. If you want to help the environment and do a little bit to restore the ecosystem you can use your own backyard as a natural wildlife habitat. Attracting birds and butterflies along with other small creatures to your yard is easier than you think. You will need enough space to do so and if you have a Homeowners Association it may not be possible but if you can here is what you are going to need.
To attract birds and butterflies:
- Food Source: This can include feeders with birdseed or the right trees and plants
- Source of Water: You can set up a birdbath or put together a backyard pond or water garden. Keep the water fresh otherwise you will just end up with mosquitos who love standing water.
- Place for Shelter: This can include a variety of things from layered foliage, trees, birdhouses or squirrel boxes. It needs to help with the elements and be a place where birds can nest if necessary.
Putting in Plants and Shrubs
If you are going to add plants or trees to your backyard to attract wildlife then use plants that are native to the area. They will be able to withstand the weather better than something pretty and imported. If you are planting flowers then find hardy flowers where you don’t have to apply a ton of pesticides or fertilizers. You can also check with the local garden center to see which plants will help you attract the wildlife that you want. You may want to put in plants in layers so the foliage is at different heights.
Hummingbirds are beautiful to have and to watch in your backyard but you will need plants that are tubular and have nectar. You can also add some feeders that have sugar water in them. Hummingbirds have extremely high metabolisms and are constantly looking for food. Make sure that you change the water regularly. There are a variety of different plants that will attract them, just check with your garden center.
Other birds are fairly easy to attract all you need are seed or fruit bearing trees or plants. Any kind of berry bush will work as well. You can also put out bird feeders with seed. Don’t feed birds bread they cannot digest it and you will do them more harm than good.
You are going to need flowers and you should plant them close together. You also want a variety of flowers so that at least something is blooming throughout the summer months (they love purple flowers). Butterflies will eat different plants depending on their stage of growth. Avoid pesticides if you can and have water available for them as well.
Attracting wildlife to your garden isn’t as hard as you think, it is just a matter of providing food and shelter for the species that you want to attract.