We’re on the final step of creating our backyard wildlife habitat! For those of you who don’t already know, we’re following the guidelines provided by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in their Certified Wildlife Habitat program. So far, we have completed the following steps:
- Provide food
- Supply water
- Create cover
The final step is to give wildlife a place to raise their young. The guidelines require that a backyard gives wildlife two places to raise their young, selected from the following list:
- Mature Trees
- Dense Shrubs
- Meadow / Prairie
- Host Plants for Caterpillars
- Dead Trees / Snags
- Water Garden / Pond
- Nesting Box
We already have a mature tree out back… the oak tree. We usually have a bird nest in the tree each year, though it’s so well hidden, I have never been able to tell what kind of birds live there. Plus there are spider webs all over the tree, so I know they are enjoying the tree as their home. I’ve also seen caterpillars hanging from the tree.
Secondly, we decided to add a nesting box. We’ll find out over time if any birds decided to move in! I’ve had to refrain my son’s enthusiasm, as he’s been running out to open up the box each morning to see if there are any birds in it.
Within the next week, we plan to plant a few dense shrubs and host plants for caterpillars.
I’ll write a review of the entire process in a week or so, after we’re done with the planting! My son is so excited about this project. Every morning when we wake up, he asks, “what are we going to do for the wildlife today?” We’re already enjoying the birds visiting the new bird feeders and the birdbath. Probably thirty times a day, my son quietly exclaims, “Sshh, there’s a bird in the bird feeder!” Fun!!
- Bring Wildlife to Your Home – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (anaturemom.com)
- Creating Our Backyard Wildlife Habitat: Step One, Provide Food (anaturemom.com)
- Creating Our Backyard Wildlife Habitat: Step Two, Supply Water (anaturemom.com)
- Creating our Backyard Wildlife Habitat: Step Three, Create Cover (anaturemom.com)