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The end of gardening season is rapidly approaching.  I thought that I should tell you a little bit about our wildlife habitat before gardening season is over.

This all started when I read about the National Wildlife Federation sponsoring backyard wildlife habitats.  I sent away for the kit, since I love wildlife.  For about 20 years I had been planting things, moving things, learning from mistakes, etc.  I kept finding plants, flowers, and trees that I really liked, so I made a place for them.  There was no real rhyme or reason to my methods. I’d put stuff wherever it fit.  Sometimes it took off growing and sometimes it was an utter failure.  I never gave up.  As a result of all of my attempts, I wound up with a fairly natural looking, woodsy, mountain like effect.

I got the kit and it said that I needed to show that I had provided water, shelter, food, and housing for the birds.  That was easy.  I already had all of that.  Then it explained what trees, bushes, and flowers the birds liked and would be attracted to.  I went down the list and found that I had a lot of that too.  The last task was to draw a picture of the back yard showing what was there and where it was.  I mailed it in and was excited to hear from the National Wildlife Federation shortly after that.  They sent a metal sign saying that our backyard was a certified backyard habitat.  They also sent a very nice certificate.  We were sure excited.

habitat sign

Now you don’t need to have a big back yard and you don’t have to have tons of plants and flowers, etc. to get certified.  You could have a little balcony or patio with some pots of flowers or a potted bush, a bird feeder and a dish with water for a bird bath.  It doesn’t have to be an enormous operation.  I already had it all done.  The birds don’t care how big or fancy it is.  They will come.  If you want a big back yard habitat, you can do it a little at a time and quite inexpensively if you watch for bargains.  A lot of our stuff was given to us.  Other stuff was in horrible shape, but we fixed it up.  In future posts I will show you some of the stuff.  It is fun.

The most basic is a bird feeder, a bird house, and a bird bath.

good stuff

A simple, but adequate bird feeder…the birds don’t care how fancy it is.

woodpecker on birdbath

A simple, but adequate bird feeder…the birds don’t care how fancy it is.

This is a great fountain

A simple, but adequate bird feeder…the birds don’t care how fancy it is.

Safe or sorry

A simple, but adequate bird feeder…the birds don’t care how fancy it is.

Our habitat has expanded to include other fascinating wild life.  We have had eagles, hawks, pheasants, wild turkeys, a great blue heron, bunnies, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.  A mother duck and her babies were photographed heading for our back yard.  We have also had birds stop by to get something to eat and drink that don’t even belong here.  They must have been passing through on their way to other states.  Yes, we have some snakes and mice, but the snakes take care of the mice and stay hidden.  They are not poisonous and do a lot of good with eating bugs too.  I don’t mind them so much if they stay hidden.

Our back yard isn’t much bigger than most yards in housing developments.  It is about 140 feet wide and about 35 feet to the house.  I moved here in 1979.  It was just dirt when we moved in.  As I said before, I just started putting things I liked in where I liked them.  It is now gorgeous.  People come over and when they go to the backyard they gasp with amazement.  They always say that they weren’t expecting it.  They love it and want to come back.  Many people have offered to help out with maintenance because they like it so much.

I have a lot of photos to show you and a lot of stories to share about our habitat. Be sure to stop by to see them.  And be sure to like them, pin them, share them, or comment…I would love to see what you are doing for wildlife in your back yard. Our habitat didn’t stop with birds, we have expanded to butterflies and bees too. We love wildlife!