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Making a Habitat for Wildlife in Your Backyard

Why, you may ask would you want to turn you backyard into a habitat for wildlife. The simplest answer is just that it is fun for both you and your family with the added benefit of allowing you to experience wildlife at home. In this age of everything being green, a wildlife habitat is very eco-friendly. It adds another dimension to your yard and a well done project can add curb appeal to your property. As your habitat matures and changes, you get to share all of this with others.

A good habitat is not hard to achieve and you
may already have some of the basics, but the right combination of the following is what you are aiming for. You will need the right plants to support the various types of wildlife through their entire life cycle. Butterflies, for example, need food for the caterpillar stage and also for the adult stage. If you have limited space, you can supplement the food supply with feeders Feeders are also effective for providing food when most plants are dormant. Next you need water which can be supplied with garden ponds, birdbaths or just a hollowed out stone. The final requirement is shelter and this can be provided in many ways. A pile of tree branches, plants wildlife can hide in close to food and water sources or a house you built or purchased.

The steps to establishing a habitat are simple. First you will need to identify all of your existing plants and what they will bring to the final product. Make a sketch of the yard and where the current plants lie and where you have space to add the habitat needs you are lacking. You can then begin adding the trees, shrubs, ground-covers, etc to complete your habitat. Take into account both horizontal and vertical planning with trees and shrubs forming the backbone of habitat.

The choice of which trees to use is an important one since they are going to be the backbone of the habitat Consider adding evergreens to the yard since they will provide year round color and shelter for the wildlife. Fruit and nut trees will provide a great source of food. When choosing trees, always lean toward varieties native to the area. They are proven to grow and flourish in the are and will require far less upkeep. As with planting anything, always consider how large the tree will grow.Filling in with smaller shade-tolerant understory trees and shrubs will give the area a natural feel. As you begin to add flowering annuals a bird friendly habitat with additional feeders and bird houses. Typical foods are sunflower seed, suet and fruits. For more information on plants for attracting birds to your yard got to FCMG Fact Sheets.

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