This is Part 2 in creating a wildlife habitat in your own outdoor space.
Learning How To Garden For Wildlife...
Start a new garden space just for wildlife. If you don't already have a designated bird or butterfly garden, now is the time to create one.
You can find entire books and websites dedicated to this subject. Consult these sources and start working on a space today.
The following information is from Steven Saffier, director of Audubon at Home for the National Audubon Society.
The National Audubon Society has lots of wonderful and intensive information if you want to click on the above link and read more.
Birds are attracted to flowers so be sure to have many different kinds of annuals, perennials and native wildflower species on your lot.
To attract American goldfinches, cardinals, chickadees, evening grosbeaks, finches and titmice, incorporate sunflowers, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, asters, cosmos, zinnias, coreopsis, marigolds and poppies in your gardenscape. They all produce abundant banquets of tasty seeds that birds relish.
Add native prairie plants like millet, sorghum, blanket flowers, goldenrod, liatris and globe thistle.
Hummingbirds love pink, red and purple tubular blooms for their sweet nectar, so include bee balm, columbine, hibiscus, nicotiana, salvia, cardinal flowers, honeysuckle and nasturtium.
In the fall, avoid cutting down all the dead stalks in your garden beds. Birds will seek out the remaining seeds all through the winter.
Create a smorgasbord for birds by including fruit-bearing plants in the yard, at the edges of woodlands and in garden beds.
Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, juneberries, mulberries, inkberry and Russian olive will attract mockingbirds, bobwhites, gray catbirds, indigo buntings, woodpeckers, bluebirds, northern orioles and scarlet tanagers, among others.
These birds will nest in the trees and feast on the berries.
The climbing, twisting stems of vining plants provide the perfect cover for birds. Their flowers attract nectar-seeking birds like hummingbirds. Fruiting vines, like grapes and multi-flora roses, offer another food source.
Watch birds flit among the vines as they determine the best way to approach a hanging feeder filled with seeds.
Even in winter, vines left in place offer a perch for birds as they scope out your yard for leftover seeds on drying perennials.
Birds, of course, like trees to build their nests, raise their young and escape from predators. It’s important to provide a mix of different types of trees to attract a large number of bird species.
Start by finding out which trees are indigenous to your area.
Oaks, aspens, maples, beeches and birches are all found in the natural landscape.
Each offers nesting sites among their branches, in hollows and under their boughs. Evergreens offer protection from the hot sun in the summer, and protection from rain, snow and ice in the winter.
They also attract insects that hide under their bark and among their leaves, offering food that bird parents bring back to the nest to feed their young.
Expand your canvas with containers if you need to garden for wildlife in a small space. If you don't have the space to start a whole new garden, then containers are a great solution.
Hanging baskets add flair to your space while offering a good source for nectar.
Tip: Walk around your favorite garden nursery and note what kinds of plants you see bees, butterflies and hummingbirds feeding from.
You can also stroll around your neighborhood to see what native plants are flourishing and attracting wildlife and birds.
We'll continue later with more ideas for creating a haven for wildlife in your own yard.