Be a Bird Magnet
by Rebecca Rumbley, Interlibrary Loan, Ekstrom Library
Longing for more contact with wildlife? Consider adding some elements to your yard that will attract birds and other critters for a visit, or even an extended stay. Here are the basic ingredients in transforming your backyard.
Food: Plant shrubs that produce food year-round, in the form of seeds, nuts and fruits. Place supplemental feeders with seeds, suet and nectar.
Water: A traditional pedestal birdbath or a shallow dish on the ground will provide this important element. To go a step further, install a small circulating pump or mister, to create the noisy moving water that birds love.
Shelter: Evergreens give shelter from predators and inclement weather all year. Trees and shrubs in general make good nesting and roosting sites. Log piles and rocks, decaying tree stumps offer hiding places for little critters like chipmunks.
Places to Nest: Trees can make good nesting sites, but cavity-dwelling birds have a harder time finding places. Consider providing a functional nesting box to attract woodpeckers or bluebirds.
For lots more information about creating a backyard habitat, and how to have it certified by the National Wildlife Federation, visit this excellent website: http://www.nwf.org/habitats. Try the “what’s in my yard?” query which you can run by zip code and type of animal.