Make Your Own Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Conservation in the backyard
I love nature, all of it, but mostly because nature's wonders are what brought me to my life-long desire to photograph. I don't condone hunting, but I do not offer criticism either. I do not feel that I have the right to impose my views on anyone. The only shooting I do is with a camera.
Which brings me to this article. Create a wildlife habitat in your backyard. Its enjoyable and not that expensive, if you pace yourself.
I have always wanted to create my own backyard habitat. After some research and lots of advice from naturalist and web sites, I decided to certify my back yard into a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation, nothing big except it gave me a bigger understanding relating to the needs of our wildlife friends & neighbors.
After reading through their web site , I went about procuring the necessary ingredients such as local plants, shrubs, trees, materials for a bird feeding station, wood for bird housing, bird seeds etc..in fact I got so involved that I bought a ready made plastic pond, pump and fish, several wood pieces, saw, hammer, tools and other stuff.
I carefully arranged the flowering plants, shrubs and trees to look as natural as possible(although it is not required).I arranged plants and local rocks around the pond to the point that it seemed as if nature had placed it there.
When finished I had most of the necessary elements needed to be certified. My list included: shrubs that produced berries & flowers(for food,nectar,shade), butterfly attracting flowering plants(for nectar and as hosts), the pond for water, built several simple bird houses, installed two bird feeding stations(nothing more than ceramic plates on top of pre-cut logs) a small log pile ( for shelter/hiding/habitat), two ceramic/clay pots that collect rainwater, into which I drilled holes and covered with cork which I can take out when I want the water to filter down to the plants.
I also use mulch to conserve water.Upon submission of my garden's information to the N.W.F I had my yard certified and received a handsome sign which can be posted outside, again no big deal but it shows I care.
The truth is that even thought I spent more than I wanted to, the hours of joy that watching and photographing wildlife & savings in water by not watering the garden with city water have given me, have more than paid for my investment. Not to mention the savings in traveling from location to location in order to photograph birds, insects, flowers etc.
I usually start photographing in the early morning when it's cooler, I plan my location so as to take advantage of the best views of my bird feeding stations & pond. I use 300mm to 400mm lenses since I like to do close ups.
I have achieve a great number of photographs, many of which I have sold to magazines by utilizing my back yard, plus I have also learned quite a few tricks along the way.
Like I tell my kids..if we don't take care of nature we can't complaint latter.
This is a truly enjoyable enterprise that will help in conservation, help your local habitat, wildlife, provide you with hours of relation and will look good also while creating your own backyard habitat.
Visit the National Wildlife Federation web site if you are interested or to learn more about their conservation efforts in communities such as yours.
- Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat - National Wildlife Federation
Learn how to garden for wildlife and create a Certified Wildlife Habitat
© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez
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