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Attracting, Feeding and Appreciating Backyard Birds: Providing Shelter

By John Schaust

Photo courtesy of El Hutcherson

Landscaping for a wildlife habitat should include plants ranging in size and density, from small evergreen shrubs to tall, full-grown trees. Plants that are native to your soil and climate provide the best overall food sources for wildlife; in fact, they support 10 to 50 times more native wildlife than exotic (or non-native) plants.

The same plantings that provide shelter for you can also provide safe areas for many species of wildlife to build nests and raise their families. However, with the continued loss of natural habitat, many cavity-nesting birds may have trouble finding suitable homes. By providing bird houses, you will encourage these species to raise their young in your backyard.

Bird houses provide nesting sites for primary cavity-nesting species, such as woodpeckers, which excavate their own nesting sites, and for secondary cavity nesters, such as bluebirds, which rely on pre-existing cavities because they lack the ability to create their own nesting sites.

Indeed, attracting birds to your yard with food, landscaping, water or housing brings great rewards to both you and your birds. The birds benefit from the critical habitat elements you provide, while you gain a refuge in which you and your loved ones can share the joy and wonderment of birds and nature.


This is 4 of 5 in Attracting, Feeding and Appreciating Backyard Birds

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