Triangle News Leader

Follow Us On:

Create Your Wildlife Habitat

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm

When creating a wildlife habitat, the combination of habitat elements (food, water, cover and places to raise young) you provide should take into consideration the needs of the wildlife you wish to attract. Carefully selected plantings can provide food, cover and/or places to raise young. We have books, videos, products and ideas that will help you plan your wildlife habitat.

Choose a Variety of Plantings. Landscaping for the ideal wildlife habitat should include plants ranging in size and density from small ever-green shrubs to tall, full-grown trees so that birds and other wildlife can choose the ap-propriate cover they need for feeding, hiding, courting and nesting activities. For example, dense plantings of shrubbery provide safe areas for many species of wildlife to mate, build nests and raise their families.

Start your Habitat With a Plan. Develop a plan for your backyard. Take an assessment of what you already have and then map out a landscaping plan that includes all the plants and natural features in your yard. Use the Landscaping Planning Chart on the back of the brochures you may download from this page to select plants native to your area.

For the Best Results, Use Native Plants. Plants native to the soils and climate of your area provide the best overall food sources for wildlife. In addition, native plants generally require less fertilizer, water and effort to control pests. Native plants may support 10 to 50 times more species of native wildlife (mostly insects, the basic wildlife food) as do exotics (plants that are not native to your area). Too often, exotics brought to our continent for their horticultural or wildlife value grow and spread rapidly, taking over farm and woodland and decimating na-tive plants and animals.

Bird Feeding Habitat Strategy. If you love watching birds, then you want to make sure they return to your yard again and again! If they find a relatively safe habitat with fresh food and water, chances are they will come back — frequently.

The best way to attract a variety of birds is by providing the following four elements to create a habitat that will attract birds:

Food: Provide different types of bird feeders, offering a variety of foods and placing the bird feeders where birds prefer to feed. Birds that pre-fer to feed on the ground are referred to as ground-feeding birds. Other birds that like to cling or hang while feeding prefer to feed from elevated feeders.

There are many varieties of specialized bird feeders avail-able, but most fall into three basic categories:
• Ground-feeding trays or platform feeders.
• Elevated feeders such as wooden hopper feeders and tube feeders.
• Suet feeders.

By providing birdfeeders that recreate the natural feeding preference of birds, you will attract a greater variety of birds to your backyard throughout the year. You can provide fruit and nectar feeders for nectar eating birds. You can add suet feeders for insect eating birds. Peanut feeders will attract a variety of birds such as titmice, nut-hatches and woodpeckers.
Shelter: Birds need pro-tective cover just like people need the shelter of a house. Cover can be provided in many forms such as special plantings, hollow logs, and brush piles. Plants that bear a fruit for food are the best. The ideal bird habitat would include plants ranging in size and density from small ever-green shrubs to tall, full-grown trees. This variety will provide birds a choice for feeding, hiding, courting and nesting.

Water: Water is important for the survival of birds in the summer and the winter. Birds need a dependable year-round water source for drinking and bathing. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, small pool, recirculating waterfall, shallow dish or from a drip-ping hose.

Places To Raise Young: With more and more destruction of the natural habitat, many birds are having trouble finding places to nest. By providing nesting boxes you will encourage birds to raise their young in your backyard and stay in your area all year.

You’ll enjoy watching the family life of birds while providing the badly needed shelter. Wild Birds Unlimited in Eustis Village Shopping Center has everything you need to create a great Bird Feeding Habitat in your own back yard. Stop in today at 2868 Da-vid Walker Drive, Eustis, FL 32726, or call 352-602-4208.