Click here for photos of the month of May 2005 at the puddle.
Click here for the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology site on more bird topics.
SAVE A PLACE FOR WILDLIFE
Your back yard can be a safe haven for wild animals if you want it to be. It does not take a lot of money to do this, just your time and care. Animals need three things to survive in your yard.
FOOD, WATER AND SHELTER
It does not matter where you live or how large your place is, wild animals will come if you provide for their needs.
You can do this in an apartment on a small scale, or if you have many acres, you can do it on a grand scale. You can do it in the country and in the city. Wild animals are everywhere, not all the same kinds, but if you work with what you have perhaps the species list in your yard will grow. Look around at your yard and see what you already have available for wild animals and then just add to that. You can plan ponds, puddles, bird baths, or scrapes, anything to hold water. Of course the smaller the water supply is, the more often you will have to clean it. There are some links on this page to more elaborate plans for the three elements to bring animals to your home. Take a look and see if they can be applied to your yard. Below are some of the things that I did to enhance my yard to attract more birds.
I dug out a shallow hole in the yard and lined it with two bags of concrete. The puddle is just outside my west window where I can watch and observe the results. The puddle has a dripper fed from an outside faucet, the water is always fresh. I dug the puddle in two levels so that the water can run from one level to the next. The birds love the sound of dripping water, some of them drink from it like a bubbler. Remember wildlife always comes to water.
In season it helps to have blooming plants around the area you want birds to visit. I always place mine so I can watch and observe which species are drawn to the plants. The hummingbirds are attracted to the blooming plants for both nectar and bugs. Leave your spider webs on your outside plants, the hummers love to steal bugs from those webs. I have hanging plant outside each of my windows, that way the birds have lots of choices without arguing with each other.
This photo gives you a better idea where the water puddle is placed outside my home. In spring I put out oranges and jelly for the neo-tropical birds that visit. Birds will keep you company and are a great joy to watch. You can even cut up yarn and offer it to them to use in building their nests. I have a number of nesting boxes in the yard. Wood ducks, wrens, bluebirds, great crested flycatchers, barred owls, screech owls and chickadees have taken advantage of the hospitality.
Place your plants and feeders far enough apart so that the birds have choices. I try to winter over some of the blooming plants just in case The Feather takes in a late hummer that needs flowers to help it survive.
There are so many ways you can enhance your yard to enjoy wild birds. You will gain from them being there and they will gain from you having them there. It's a win, win situation.............
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